Tag Archives: HDR

Advanced Black & White: Photography and Photoshop

Learn to create extended tonal range black and white images

Saturday April 12 and Sunday April 13, 2014

This workshop includes field photography in several Bay area locations, monochromatic HDR shooting techniques in the field, black & white conversion in Photoshop and Nik Silver Efex, and monochromatic HDR processing.

Click here for registration!

When folks think of HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography, they tend to have color imaging in mind. But the fact is that HDR techniques are just as applicable to monochromatic photography as to color.

Ruined Stair by Harold Davis

Ruined Stair © Harold Davis

In both cases, the point is to extend the dynamic range of the resulting image beyond what is normally seen in a single exposure—and, indeed, beyond normal human perception. When working in digital black and white, the tonal range is extended from the lightest lights to the darkest darks. This results in images with great graphical appeal that make for splendid monochromatic prints.

Harold Davis-Monochromatic HDR book cover

In this workshop, Master Photographer Harold Davis guides participants in both aspects of the monochromatic HDR process: shooting and post-processing.

Workshop participants will take advantage of several San Francisco Bay area locations, with field destinations to be determined depending on weather and group predilections. Possibilities include the Cable Car Museum, Fort Point, Marin Headlnds and the Golden Gate Bridge.

In the classroom, hands-on guidance will explain techniques for extending dynamic range, monochromatic conversion methods, and best practices where the two technologies intersect.

Nautilus in Black and White

Nautilus in Black and White © Harold Davis

In addition, the workshop will provide extensive coverage of the creative vision required to successfully create monochromatic HDR images as well as the workflow necessary to make art prints from this specialized image-making technique.

When: Saturday, April 12 and Sunday, April 13, 2014

Where: The classroom session of the workshop is hosted in Berkeley, California, in a convenient location near the upscale Fourth Street shopping district and close to the University Avenue exit from I80. We will car pool to field shooting locations.

Cost: Tuition is $695 per person. Workshop is limited to a maximum of 16 participants.

Click here for registration!


Saturday, April 13

9 am:   Orientation

9:30am:   Black & White Photography in the Digital Era

10:30 am to 12:30 pm:  Classroom session on multi-RAW processing and shooting and processing HDR sequences

12:30 – 1:15 Lunch break

2 to 7 pm:  Field photography session(s) (Car pool, possible locations include San Francisco Cable Car Museum, Fort Point, Marin Headlands, Golden Gate Bridge, tbd)

8 pm:  “Dutch Treat” Group dinner (optional, location tba)

Sunday, September 14

9 am:  Classroom session, individual assignments

10 am to 12 pm:  Individual assignments and field photography

12:00 – 12:45pm  Lunch break

12:45 to 3:00 pm:  Assignment review, classroom session covering monochromatic conversion techniques

3:30 to 4:00 pm:  The high tonal range monochromatic print (special considerations and techniques)

4:30 pm:  Workshop wrap-up

Kira at Passy Station © Harold Davis

Kira at Passy Station © Harold Davis

Click here for registration!

Posted in Monochrome, Workshops Also tagged , , , |

Looking Up

Things are looking up. Last week I took a break from assignments and book deadlines and embarked on an ambitious program to revitalize my website. The main point was to modernize the look of my web presence, and to bring all my web pages under the management umbrella of my WordPress installation (which already powered this blog).

Without going into the blow-by-blow details, there was drama, trauma, and eventually resurrection. I think the adventure was worth it. Please let me know what you think (it is still to some extent a work in progress).
Looking Up
Here are some of the page links on my revamped site:

About the image: This is an HDR blend, created from five exposures shot in the famous Antelope slot canyon near Page, Arizona. Originally, I presented the image monochromatically, but Phyllis convinced me to also show it in color.

As I noted in the story about the black & white version, I had plenty of dynamic range to render the underside of the cliff that I decided to show in shadow. But the composition works for me because of the contrast between the ribbon of light and the dark background. It simply didn’t work as well when I showed the full dynamic range.

The moral: I like to shoot the full dynamic range when I am on location so I have it in case I need it. But sometimes less is more. Just because you have dynamic range “in the can” doesn’t mean you have to use it.

Which version do you like better?

Related story: Structure of Time.

Posted in HDR, Landscape, Photography



Over the weekend I spent some time with the kids wandering around and exploring the University of California at Berkeley campus, which is about half a mile from our home. We started at Northside, shown in this image, along Euclid Avenue.

The boys were hungry, and we were headed for a slice of pizza at Lavals. I managed to hold them off while I got out the tripod and fired off seven shots, bracketed by shutter speed, of this blue Cadillac.

Then appetite trumped photography.

The good news: there was a nice courtyard and passage with reflections for me to shoot while they scarfed down their slices.

I shot a number of sequences for HDR, and used a polarizer to amplify the reflections along the passage.

Passage to Bongo Burger

Both images were processed in a pretty straightforward fashion using Nik Merge to HDR Pro as a Photoshop plugin.

Posted in Photography Also tagged |