Here are notes on Rick's Lighting Masterclass

Lighting Masterclass

Here are Fran's personal ideas on how to take a good picture

How To Take Better Pictures

Now a page showing the Photoshop symbols
Photoshop Toolbox Reference

Getting Started in Monochrome
(Fran Blackburn Dec 2013)

In this modern digital age why do we still bother with monochrome? The answer is quite simple for
some types of image monochrome gives a much better result. Hopefully these few notes and
examples will encourage you to try monochrome for yourself.
When should you try monochrome?
· Graphic images
· To allow the viewer to use their imagination
· To provide ambiguity and mystery
· To highlight textures and shapes
· To draw the eye into the fine detail
What helps make a good monochrome image?
· Full range of tones from black to white
· Varied textures and forms
· Bold shapes
· Contrast
· Strong interesting shadows
· Monotonic compositions
· Interplay between areas of brightness and shadow
· Removal of distracting colour, e.g. in busy backgrounds
· Portraits
· Moody atmospheres, mists, night shots
· If the subject matter is old-fashioned or anachronistic

Getting Started In Monochrome

More advanced techniques
Once you’ve got the bug for monochrome then what can you do to progress?
· If your camera has a Monochrome picture style, select it so you can review in monochrome
on the camera
· Use Live View prior to taking picture to see how it will look in monochrome
· Shoot in RAW, this gives more control over the conversion
In Photoshop
· Try other methods of conversion to monochrome e.g. gradient map
· Use layers and layer masks to selectively adjust contrast,
· Try dodge (Lighten tones) and burn (darken tones) in different areas of the image
Consider buying dedicated software
· Experiment with converting in Light Room or Silver Efex Pro
· Try High Dynamic Range images, e.g. Photomatix
Join the monochrome special interest group
Try other colour shades
Of course monochrome does not mean shades of black and white, any image that consists of shades
of a single colour is classified as monochrome, see the following example where a sepia tint has
been applied.