Suggested Books to Read and My B&W Tree RootsPosted: October 14, 2010
So for the past couple of weeks I have read 3 books on Photography. I don’t know about you all but sometimes I have this drive to read and of course most of my books pertain to photography. Many times I’ll read them twice…I always find that I missed something.
Today I will point out the focal points of each book and you can read up on the rest. Some of you will skim through many areas and some of you will read every word… but all of you will be inspired to learn something different or be reminded of something you knew and forgot.
Cyrill Harnischmacher, “Closeup shooting: A guide to closeup, table top & macro photography” book has really good examples of how to make equipment. I really liked his focusing rail made with products from your local home improvement store. He also writes on how to make your own split-level box so you can photograph subjects in water up close. My favorite example is how he made a soft box attachment for a hot-shoe flash that attaches your softbox to your flash!
I also read Bryan Peterson’s “Understanding Close-up Photography”. I really enjoyed his writing skills. I felt like he was talking to me… This book, like Harnishchmacher’s book, has all the technical aspects of Macro and Close-up Photography. I liked the way Peterson had his contents laid out. He starts with close-up vs macro photographing then on to various equipment to depth of field and & aperture (very important for macro photographing) to close-up tips and some fun indoor techniques.
The last book I read was not about close-up and macro photography but about B&W Landscape Photography by George Schaub. His book, “Digital Photographer’s guide to B+W Landscape Photography” was a nice read. I liked the way he talked about film and how to achieve an awesome photograph digitally. With that said…I shot a close-up of some tree roots I needed for a project. I knew that the photograph would be more interesting in b&w and was thinking about that while I was photographing them. So I’m going to show you the various steps I used while I worked on this particular image. Just an fyi… this photograph was shot F8.0 @1/160 50mm ISO 100 – RAW. If I wanted the photo to be focused corner to corner I would have change my F-stop to 22-32…but that’s not what I was going for so the f8 was perfect for what I needed.
Just a reminder to view figures closer click on them…to get back to the blog use your back arrow key on your browser.
As you can see from figure one above I shot the original pic in color (RGB from my camera) and in RAW format. I imported the photo(s) to Lightroom so my original would not be damaged and I started my developing stage. (I already set my metadata and named the photographs)
Figures 2 & 3 show you some of my adjustments.
I knew I would finalize my work in Photoshop so adjusted my work in Lightroom to get ready for some dodging and burning in Photoshop. I right clicked on the image in Lightroom to finish my corrections in Photoshop. See Figure 4.
When you’re working with black and white photographs the dodge and burn tool is really useful. I don’t really like these tools when I’m in my RGB mode but play with them… I think you’ll like it (reminds me of the old days).
Tooo funny….did any of you notice that I captured my dock on Figure 5! 🙂
One thing I want to point out…. If you are working in B&W in Lightroom in order to add filters in Photoshop you must change your photograph back to RGB. See Figure six and seven for examples.
Of course there are so many ways to manipulate your photograph’s color in Photoshop. I just wanted to show you some basic changes so you can see how much the color influences the work.
Figures eight & nine show you one of the warm and cool filters.
Below (Figure 10) you can see the various adjustments and how they change the look and feel of each piece. When working with clients, I know from their project examples what would be a nice fit for the whole concept. I enjoy the capabilities we have today to make detailed changes quickly so you and your clients are happy with the final result(s).
The first image starts with a warm filter, then a grayscale, and then a cool filter. The last image is my personal detailed changes that I needed for the project. I like each one of them in their own special way.
My Final Image:
So try and take time out of your busy schedule and pick up some photography books. I have a couple others books in mind that are more advanced; I’ll keep you posted on those soon. I also hope that I have inspired you to shoot some B&W Macro and Close-up work….just remember to think about the texture and feel of the work and all will be spectacular.
If you have any black and white photographs to share with us post a link to them in the comment area. Thanks!