Tag Archives: Photoshop

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 , , , |

Broken Arrow and Creating LAB Patterns

Wandering the pedestrian walk on new San Francisco Bay Bridge span in the waning days of the year, I shot this directional arrow, intended to guide foot and bike traffic, straight down and broken up by strong shadows from the railing.

Broken Arrow © Harold Davis

Broken Arrow © Harold Davis

Before I converted Broken Arrow to black and white, of course, it was color (shown below). (The monochrome version is still an RGB color file technically speaking—but that’s another story!)

Broken Arrow - color © Harold Davis

Broken Arrow – color © Harold Davis

It’s astoundingly easy to use Photoshop adjustments in LAB color and blending modes to create intricate patterns out of something like the color version of Broken Arrow. Here’s one example:

LAB Cross Pattern #1 © Harold Davis

LAB Cross Pattern #1 © Harold Davis

To get to the pattern from the color photo,  in Photoshop I duplicated the image, and converted the duplicate to LAB color mode. I next used Image > Adjust > Invert to invert the LAB color values within the file, and then converted the entire image back to RGB, with results shown below:

LAB Inversion (all channels) © Harold Davis

LAB Inversion (all channels) © Harold Davis

Next, I made another duplicate of the original image file, converted it to LAB, selected the L channel only, and inverted the L channel. I flipped the image horizontally, with results shown below:

L-Channel Inversion (Flipped) © Harold Davis

L-Channel Inversion (Flipped) © Harold Davis

The last big step is to align the two LAB inversions as layers in one image, and set the Blending Mode to Difference (by the way, they have to be back in RGB, or the Difference mode isn’t available).

There are many possible variations on this technique of course, depending on what channels you invert, how you flip the image, and what blending modes you use. Here’s another variation from the same original image:

LAB Cross Pattern #2 © Harold Davis

LAB Cross Pattern #2 © Harold Davis

To learn more about the LAB color techniques for creative image making I have pioneered, check out The Way of the Digital Photographer  (pages 156-163) and The Photoshop Darkroom (pages 148-201). If this really intrigues you, you may want to consider my Mastering Creative Photoshop workshop (January 25-26, one last minute spot available, more space in the second session, May 31 – June 1, 2014).

Posted in Abstractions, Monochrome, Photoshop Techniques Also tagged , , , |

Learn Photoshop This Year!—Second Session by Popular Demand

The first session of Mastering Creative Photoshop is sold out…and so many people have asked for another session. Here it is!!! The dates are Saturday May 31 – Sunday June 1, 2014. To avoid disappointment, please register well in advance.

Make this the year that you finally learn Photoshop!

It’s time to bend Photoshop to your creative will. Whether you want to enhance your existing digital workflow, create black and white images with high tonal range, or composite incredible and fantastic landscapes from disparate elements, stop fighting Photoshop—and make Photoshop your creative ally and partner!

Kick off this resolution by reading Harold Davis’s acclaimed books about Photoshop’s creative side: Monochromatic HDR PhotographyThe Way of the Digital PhotographerThe Photoshop DarkroomCreative Black & White, and other titles.

And if you’re really ready to go for it, bring your creative Photoshop ideas to Harold’s unique seminar in January, Mastering Creative Photoshop: The Way of the Digital PhotographerThere will be plenty of time for individual attention. Guaranteed: you will learn Photoshop. And your photography will never be the same!

So enough dithering! Make your Photoshop resolutions come true! If not now, when?

Workshop Description: Mastering Creative Photoshop: The Way of the Digital Photographer—This workshop covers developing a personal digital Photoshop workflow. Topics explained in detail include archiving and checkpoints, RAW processing, multi-RAW processing, HDR, hand-HDR, stacking, LAB color creative effects, monochromatic conversions, using backgrounds and textures, layers, layers masks, working with channels, Photoshop filters, and plugins from Nik Software and Topaz. If you’ve ever wondered how Harold does it, or wanted to learn how to incorporate his techniques in your own digital workflow, this is the workshop for you!

Dates: The January session of Mastering Creative Photoshop is sold-out. This newly added session will be held Saturday May 31 – Sunday June 1, 2014

Location: Berkeley, California. The workshop will be held at the MIG Meeting Room, which is a very nice space co-located with a well-known green urban design firm in Berkeley, CA and conveniently located near the Fourth Street shopping district, the Berkeley Amtrak station,  and the University Ave exit from Interstate 80.

Space Availability:  Class size is strictly limited to 16 to permit individual attention. To avoid disappointment please do not delay.

Tuition: $695.00 per person for the entire weekend.

Registration: Click here for more information and to register.

Church at Auvers © Harold Davis

About this image: One of my heros, the great painter Vincent van Gogh, spent his last days in the village of Auvers-sur-Oise outside Paris, France, where he painted many of his great works. Wandering the streets of Auvers-sur-Oise, now a suburb of Paris, I found many signs reproducing a van Gogh painting in front of the literal scene that he painted.

It seemed to me that it would be fun to create an image that showed an impressionistic image like the ones that van Gogh created on one side of the frame, along with a photographic capture of the signage showing the image. To implement this thought, I created a bracketed sequence of exposures, which I combined and manipulated using Photoshop and plugins from Nik Software and Topaz.

About Harold Davis: Harold Davis is an internationally-known digital artist and award-winning professional photographer. He is the author of many photography books. His most recent titles are The Way of the Digital Photographer (Peachpit) and Monochromatic HDR Photography (Focal Press).

In addition to his activity as a bestselling book author, Harold Davis is a Moab Master printmaker and a Zeiss Lens Ambassador. Harold Davis’s work is widely collected, licensed by art publishers, and has appeared in numerous magazines and other publications. His black and white prints are described as “hauntingly beautiful” [Fine Art Printer] and his floral prints have been called “ethereal,” with a “a purity and translucence that borders on spiritual” [Popular Photography].

Harold Davis leads popular technique and destination photography workshops to many locations including Paris, France; Heidelberg, Germany; and the ancient Bristlecone Pines of the eastern Sierra Nevada.

Posted in Photography, Workshops Also tagged , , , |