Fine art photography and black and white.

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?

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.

A change of direction.

Over the past year I have been going through a change of direction with my photography. Photographing landscapes was lovely but I did miss photographing people. I made the decision to move to more art based photography.

I was feeling the need to be more creative and not tied in with convention. Specifically I decided to photograph black and white nudes in the landscape. Never in my life have I felt so happy with my photography as I do now. Most of the art nude models are truly amazing young ladies who just  happen not to mind being photographed being naked. Now what you will find is that they are a small part of a landscape.

The first shoot that I am focusing on is with Jessica. The shoot happened by accident and was at Padley gorge in the Peak district. It was a damp dismal day so there were no people about, making nude work very easy. Jessica did an amazing job. Communication is not easy in these places as you are often a distance from the model and the sound of the water drowns any other sound. You often have to rely on the skill of the model.

I will explain more about my conversion to black and white in a later post. My way of working in areas like this are to handhold the camera with slow exposures and a lot of depth of field. Working like this gives you a lot of blurry failures. You could up the ISO to get faster shutter speeds but I like the best quality and rarely shoot above 400 ISO. You could go for less depth of field and faster shutter speed but this is what works for me.

I have worked with Jessica since this shoot and will work with her again in future. The first shot is using the top of the rock but the second shot is the same rock using it in a completely different way. Hope you like and will be back soon.

You will find my prints for sale here.