I am going to talk about fine art photography and black and white as my preferred way. I do not shoot exclusively black and white but prefer it for my art nude work. I also like to differentiate something that is created in the mind rather than just recording of an image. At the end I will briefly talk about how I do my conversion from RAW to black and white.
My interpretation of art is that it is something that is created in the mind of the artist. The artist can then interpret that creation in whatever manner that they wish to, painting, sculpture, photography etc. Whatever form the creation takes it should create some emotional reaction from a viewer.
When it comes to fine art photography I do prefer the use of black and white over color. I prefer this for one main reason. Black and white allows you to use your imagination in a way that color cannot. Let me explain. If you read a book the watch a movie of that book, the movie will never live up to reading the book. The reason for this is that the book allows you to use your imagination to create the way a person or place looks. The movie will do all this for you, essentially preventing you using your imagination.
In fine art photography I believe that black and white gives you that use of your imagination.
I always shoot in RAW mode, I then do my conversion to black and white using NIK silver effects in Lightroom. I do different versions of images but my preferred method is to pick a low key preset of an image. I then add in detail to the image and adjust the exposure to how I want the image to look. I do prefer the model to pop out from a dark background. You do need to play with the sliders to get the effect that you like. Do not be afraid to experiment, as long as you keep the original RAW file you cannot spoil anything.
You can purchase my images here or here.
Should you have a style to your photography? A difficult question and with no easy answer. I do think it is important to have your own style but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t experiment with other ideas and concepts. Most of my work tends to be black and white fitting models into landscapes. Easily recognizable as my images, usually they will include waterfalls.
With the extreme cold weather recently I couldn’t expect the model, Lulu, to be naked outdoors for long. We did a mixed shoot, doing some studio and a some outdoor shots.
Obviously working in the studio you have to come up with something different. Because Lulu is quite strong and dynamic with her posing what we did was use some amazing shapes and a wind machine on her amazing hair to create something different. This image was quite high key but I added some copper tone which I think adds to the beautiful shapes that Lulu creates and the way her hair blows using the wind machine.
We did a few shots outdoors. A few quick spurts so Lulu didn’t get too cold. Do take care of the models, they are so important to your images and show them some respect. I totally rely on their skill at posing as well as my skill with a camera.
The image that I have chosen to show outdoors is my normal black and white conversion. I have chosen an image that uses a stable door but also has an old set of scales to balance the image. This is much more my style of photography, an outdoor scene with model creating beautiful shapes.
Though I prefer outdoor shots, working in a studio makes you think differently. Working on a plain background makes you create something different though I do some similarities. In both forms I am looking for the model to create shapes. Maybe it’s the shapes that is my style of photography.
Just to add a spot of interest for you I am thinking of moving to a mirror less camera , if you have any thoughts on which to choose please leave a comment.
If you would like to purchase any of my prints then you can purchase them here.