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The Art of Black and White Photography

Learn how to create dramatic and compelling black and white images using a range of powerful Photoshop techniques.
132 reviews
WHAT'S INSIDE
  • Lifetime access to 20 lectures
  • 6+ hours of high quality content
  • Closed captioning enabled
  • A community of 4900+ students learning together!
  • 180+ discussions
TAUGHT BY
  • David J. Nightingale Photographer and instructor

    David Nightingale is an internationally acclaimed, award winning photographer and instructor. 

    David, the photographer ...
    David's photoblog, chromasia, is currently ranked as the 16th most influential UK blog and has received numerous nominations and awards. His corporate clients have included the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, the Arts Council in England, the DIFC in Dubai, the Van Volxem winery in Germany, and Sony, UK; and his images have been licensed for a variety of uses worldwide. 

    His work has been exhibited in London, Dubai, Bulgaria, and Florence.

    David, the educator ...
    After 15 years of teaching David resigned his position as a senior university lecturer to concentrate on photography, and for the last five years he has been the Creative Director of Chromasia Training Limited  – a photographic and post-production training company, specialising in online photography and post-production training, one-to-one tuition, and the delivery of high-quality workshops and photo tours around the world.

    David has been an instructor in Dubai at every major Gulf Photo Plus training event since 2007 and has also run classes at the Perfect Picture School of Photography in the USA. In October 2011 he presented a live three day Post-Production workshop for Creative Live in Seattle.

    David has also authored three books: Baby Photography Now (2007), Practical HDR: The Complete Guide to Creating High Dynamic Range Images with Your Digital SLR (2009), and Extreme Exposure: Advanced Techniques for Creative Digital Photography (2010).

    Appearances elsewhere include a guest blog post on Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider, various appearances on the BBC and ITV television networks in the UK, and in the printed press worldwide.

    When he's not teaching David lives with his wife and seven children, and they share their time between their homes in Blackpool, on the UK's north west coast; and Dryanovo, in mountainous Central Bulgaria.

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The Art of Black and White Photography

Learn how to create dramatic and compelling black and white images using a range of powerful Photoshop techniques.
132 reviews

Many of the most powerful, memorable and effective photographs are black and white images. With digital photography though you can no longer take a great black and white photograph... but you can create one using the black and white photography techniques taught in this course. So if you're confused about which black and white conversion techniques to use, unsure about how to adjust the tonal range and balance of your black and white photos using curves and masks want to make more of your black and white portraits and you want to learn how to tone your black and white images this course is for you. What black and white photography techniques are you going to learn:
* You're going to learn how to use a range of powerful flexible and non-destructive black and white conversion techniques. You're will learn which are the most useful and powerful e.g. the Channel Mixer and Black and White tool when to use one technique rather than another and which techniques to avoid (and why).

* You will learn how to evaluate the tonal range and tonal balance of an image and then how to make global and selective changes using adjustment layers selections masks and the Curves tool: four of the most powerful tools and techniques within Photoshop.

* You'll then learn how to use these tools and techniques to overcome some of the unique problems you'll face when converting your portraits to black and white including how to delineate your subject from the background how to work with skin tones to maximise detail or smooth your subject's skin and how to enhance your subject's eyes.

* You'll learn how to add unique and complex tones that will really bring your black and white images to life.

* You're going to learn how to embed all of these tools and techniques into a flexible powerful and repeatable
workflow.

* But this isn't just a course about post-production and Photoshop: each video will also enable you to develop the skills and give you black and white photography tips you need to create not only technically optimal black and white photographs but ones that are aesthetically striking too.

* When you create a black and white image pressing the shutter is just the start. Sign up for The Art of Black and White Photography and take the next step now. Downloads are ENABLED for this course!
If you have a slow internet connection or want to take this course with you on your laptop, smartphone or other portable device sign up and download all the videos and other course materials now.

* Are you ready to take the next step? The Art of Black and White Photography is a great resource for anyone wanting to learn a comprehensive range of black and white photography and post-production techniques but if you really want to take your work to the next level you might want to consider taking it alongside 'The Art of Black and White Photography: ASSIGNMENTS'.

This is an intensive four week assignment-based course designed to be taken at the same time (or following) The Art of Black and White Photography. During the course you will: work through four key
assignments one each week; receive detailed and informative critiques on your assignment images and join your fellow students for four live webinars.

So if you want to learn about black and white photography AND test your understanding and receive constructive and helpful feedback on your work while you do click the following link for all the details.
The Art of Black and White Photography: ASSIGNMENTS

    • Ideally, Photoshop CS3 or above.
    • If you're using an earlier version of Photoshop (CS2 or below) you'll be able to work with most of the tools and techniques covered in this course other than the Black and White tool which was introduced in Photoshop CS3.
    • No prior knowledge of Photoshop. You'll be learning some powerful and sometimes complex techniques, but we'll work through each of these step-by-step.
    • Over 20 lectures and 6.5 hours of content!
    • How to create technically optimal and aesthetically stunning black and white images with Photoshop.
    • How to develop an effective, powerful, and efficient black and white workflow.
    • How to use a range of black and white conversion techniques to maximise the impact of your images.
    • How to evaluate the tonal range and tonal balance of an image in order to work out the changes that need to be made during subsequent post-production.
    • How to use the histogram effectively.
    • How to create and use adjustment layers.
    • How to use masks to seamlessly blend two or more adjustment layers.
    • How to use the Curves tool, Photoshop's most powerful tool, to apply both global and selective changes to the tonal range and tonal balance of your images.
    • How to blend two or more conversion techniques within the same image.
    • How to smooth skin tones, a technique that's especially useful for portraits of women and children.
    • How to lighten your subject's eyes.
    • How to maximise the detail in your subject's face: especially suitable for male portraiture.
    • How to add unique and compelling tones to your images to really bring them to life.
    • Anyone who wants to learn how to create technically optimal and aesthetically stunning black and white images.

CURRICULUM

  • SECTION 1:
    Getting started
  • 1
    Promo video
    02:49

    David J. Nightingale

    chromasia.com/training 
    Photography and post-production training for photographers

    Follow us on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

  • 2
    Lecture Slides
    31 slides

    This PDF contains the slides used during each of the lectures.

    --

    David J. Nightingale

    chromasia.com/training 
    Photography and post-production training for photographers

    Follow us on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

  • 3
    Lecture images (28 files)
    92 MB

    In this zipped archive you'll find 28 images (2 RAW files, 5 layered Photoshop files and 21 JPEGs: all at around 1500px wide) that you can download and work through as you go through the lectures. The images are named in the order in which they appear in the course.

    --

    David J. Nightingale

    chromasia.com/training 
    Photography and post-production training for photographers

    Follow us on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

    </p>
  • SECTION 2:
    Black and white conversion techniques: Part one
  • 4
    Black and White conversion techniques, an introduction
    17:01

    In this video we take our first look at the range of black and white conversion techniques we’ll be covering during this course. We'll then take a detailed look at some of the simpler techniques: how they work, when you should use them, and the degree of control they offer over the back and white conversion process. We conclude by summarising the limitations of these simpler techniques.

    --

    David J. Nightingale

    chromasia.com/training 
    Photography and post-production training for photographers

    Follow us on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

    </p>
  • 5
    The twin Hue/Saturation black and white conversion method
    13:44

    In this video we take a detailed look at the Twin Hue/Saturation method of creating a black and white: a non-destructive technique that provides relatively limited control over the black and white conversion process. We then go on to consider why such control is important control is important, particularly in terms of meeting your creative aims for an image. We conclude by taking a look at why a higher degree of control is often be required.

    --

    David J. Nightingale

    chromasia.com/training 
    Photography and post-production training for photographers

    Follow us on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

    </p>
  • SECTION 3:
    Black and white conversion techniques: Advanced methods
  • 6
    Converting to black and white using the Channel Mixer
    22:08

    In this video you will learn how to use the Channel Mixer to convert your images to black and white, a tool that offers a high degree of control over the black and white conversion process.

    --

    David J. Nightingale

    chromasia.com/training 
    Photography and post-production training for photographers

    Follow us on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

    </p>
  • 7
    Converting to black and white using the Calculations method
    05:33

    In this video you will learn how to use the Calculations method to create a black and white image. This is a destructive technique, and quite complex to master, but it is a powerful and flexible method of creating a black and white image.

    --

    David J. Nightingale

    chromasia.com/training 
    Photography and post-production training for photographers

    Follow us on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

    </p>
  • 8
    Converting to black and white using the Black and White tool
    13:55

    In this video you will learn how to use one of Photoshop's most powerful and flexible black and white conversion methods, the Black and White tool.

    --

    David J. Nightingale

    chromasia.com/training 
    Photography and post-production training for photographers

    Follow us on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

    </p>
  • 9
    Converting to black and white using the Camera Raw plugin
    17:14

    In this video we take a detailed look at how to use the Camera Raw plugin in Photoshop to convert your images to black and white. This is a powerful technique, and the only one we'll be discussing that allows you to convert your image during the RAW conversion process. However, unlike many of the other techniques we discussed previously, it does have its limitations, particularly in terms of embedding it within an overall workflow.

    --

    David J. Nightingale

    chromasia.com/training 
    Photography and post-production training for photographers

    Follow us on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

    </p>
  • SECTION 4:
    Enhancing tonal range and contrast
  • 10
    Enhancing tonal range and contrast, an introduction
    33:00

    In this video we begin by taking a look at the features of a colour image contribute towards making it easier to create a stunning black and white image DURING the black and white conversion process. From there we move on to explain tonal range and the histogram, before taking a look at how you can adjust the tonal range and brightness of your images using the Levels tool.

    --

    David J. Nightingale

    chromasia.com/training
    Photography and post-production training for photographers

    Follow us on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

    </p>

  • 11
    Enhancing tonal range and contrast using the Curves tool
    27:25

    The Curves tool can be intimidating, at least at first, but it is the most powerful, most useful, and most flexible tool within Photoshop, and can be used to adjust both the tonal range and contrast within your images in precise and targeted ways. In this video we take a detailed look at how to use this tool.

    --

    David J. Nightingale

    chromasia.com/training 
    Photography and post-production training for photographers

    Follow us on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

    </p>
  • 12
    Masking: Selective adjustments and blending conversion techniques
    01:05:15

    In this video we begin by taking a look at the limitations and problems associated with Dodging and Burning, a technique you can use to make selective adjustments to the tonal range and tonal balance of your images. From there we move on to work through a range of detailed examples, each of which will teach you how to use multiple adjustment layers and masks to make selective and targeted adjustments to your images to greatly increase their impact. In the final section you will learn how and why to blend multiple black and white conversion techniques within a single image.

    --

    David J. Nightingale

    chromasia.com/training
    Photography and post-production training for photographers

    Follow us on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

    </p>

  • SECTION 5:
    Black and white portraiture
  • 13
    Black and white portraiture, an introduction
    14:10

    In this video we begin our discussion of black and white portraiture by taking another look at the tools and techniques we discussed in previous lectures, particularly in terms of how these can be used to delineate your subject from the background. 

    --

    David J. Nightingale

    chromasia.com/training 
    Photography and post-production training for photographers

    Follow us on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

    </p>
  • 14
    Working with detail and skin tones
    22:27

    In this video you will learn how to soften and smooth skin tones during the black and white conversion process: to remove blemishes, brighten the skin and so on. This is an especially useful technique for portraits of women and children. Using exactly the same tools you will learn how to maximise detail, a technique well suited to male portraiture. As you'll see though, in both instances, this can involve some counter-intuitive decision making at the outset.

    --

    David J. Nightingale

    chromasia.com/training 
    Photography and post-production training for photographers

    Follow us on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

    </p>
  • 15
    Enhancing your subject's eyes
    16:14

    In this video you will learn how to convert a portrait (or any other image) to black and white using Lab Color mode, a powerful alternative to RGB. You will learn the basics of Lab, before moving on to discover why this can be a useful technique for black and white portraiture.

    --

    David J. Nightingale

    chromasia.com/training 
    Photography and post-production training for photographers

    Follow us on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

    </p>
  • 16
    Converting a portrait to black and white using Lab Color mode
    18:59

    In this video you will learn how to convert a portrait (or any other image) to black and white using Lab Color mode, a powerful alternative to RGB. You will learn the basics of Lab, before moving on to discover why this can be a useful technique for black and white portraiture.

    --

    David J. Nightingale

    chromasia.com/training 
    Photography and post-production training for photographers

    Follow us on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

    </p>
  • SECTION 6:
    Toning and colorizing your black and white images
  • 17
    Toning and colorizing a black and white image
    19:40

    In this, the first of two videos on toning and colorizing your images, you will learn how to use a range of tools to: apply a single colour to an image, how to split-tone an image using Camera Raw, and how to apply a duotone within Photoshop. You will also learn how to incorporate toning into your black and white workflow.

    --

    David J. Nightingale

    chromasia.com/training 
    Photography and post-production training for photographers

    Follow us on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

    </p>
  • 18
    Advanced toning techniques
    34:25

    In this, the final video in The Art of Black and White photography, you will learn how to add multiple and complex tones to your image using a range of powerful and flexible tools. These include the Gradient Map, the Color Balance tool, the Channel Mixer, the Selective Color tool, and my personal favourite, the Curves tool.

    --

    David J. Nightingale

    chromasia.com/training 
    Photography and post-production training for photographers

    Follow us on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

    </p>
  • SECTION 7:
    Conclusion
  • 19
    Conclusion
    00:45

    Practice, practice, and then practice some more :)

    --

    David J. Nightingale

    chromasia.com/training 
    Photography and post-production training for photographers

    Follow us on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

    </p>
  • 20
    Additional resources
    2 pages

    This PDF includes a list of additional resources that will help you to improve your black and white photography.

RATING

  • 119
  • 7
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
AVERAGE RATING
NUMBER OF RATINGS
132

REVIEWS

  • Michal Kornacki
    Easy to follow, content-aboundant

    I found this course jaw-dropping as David presents what can be done to a photo using some basic techniques. The course is easy to follow, all required materials are provided. David takes care to explain everything in detail, he does not take you Photoshop knowledge for granted. Most helpful, I honestly recommend the course to anyone wishing to render stunning B&W photos.

  • Frederic Bernabo
    GREAT

    Amazing class you know quite a bit of PS after this class !

  • Carol Lang
    Excellent course

    This is an excellent course. David is clear, concise and very knowledgeable. I took this course with his interactive practicum. I learned so much. Worth every penny.

  • Mr. Urayoan Miranda
    Awsome tutorials

    If you want to make great BW photos without third party tools this is what you need.

  • Soumaya Schnur

    very organized thoughts and explanations . David J N's voice is super clear and pleasant , his knowledge is evident and transmits well . he gives so many ways of approaching a matter that it made is easy to be able to try them separately to compare effects . thank you so very much . a lot learned and a lot to go back to and improve even more . recommend this course highly . soumaya

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