Tag Archive for: old style

What happens when you change it to Black and White?

What happens if you change your photo to Black and White?

The choice between black and white, or color can be tricky.
For me personally I sometimes shoot something with the intent to make it black and white. But then when I see the results I often keep it in color, because I just love the way it looks. And what happens if you change your photo to Black and White?

Sometimes you might shoot something that is very colorful and you don’t even think about black and white. That’s why I post this today.  Luckily with digital, we can of course do both 😀

The horror clown is back!

Well she was here just 2 days ago, so she was not really gone 😀
But as you could have seen in the previous blog post about the horror clown, the color was pretty colorful. So this is the kind of set where you might not immediately think about a black-and-white conversion, but…. think about this.

Black and white doesn’t just mean we take out the color.

In fact, you can still manipulate the colors via the H(S)L adjustments in Lightroom. A bit like in the old days photographers did with filters. We can now manipulate images to our hearts’ content in our RAW convertor.

The idea of black and white in this setting is not to take out color but to inject a lot of mood and make the images more creepy. And that’s the cool thing about black and white. I sometimes make the joke

“if you mess up a shot, add a lot of contrast and noise, make it black and white, and voila instant art”

It sounds weird, but it’s really true.
If we look at a color image that is just slightly out of focus or has a shadow that’s not 100% correct in color we immediately see this as “bad”. But make it black and white and we see it as mood, or we don’t even notice it. Now that doesn’t mean that all my images that are black and white are “bad” images of course. But some street photography images have been “saved” that way in the past 😀

But let’s first take a look at the original blog post about the horror clown.
Now that you have seen the color versions, let’s go to black and white.

change your picture into black and white change your photo to black and white change your image into black and white

As you can see the images get a totally different vibe and look.
For me even more creepy than the color versions.

Learning all about lighting in our workshops

For me teaching the workshops is not all about lighting.
Personally, I think there is a lot more than just lighting or a cool/fitting backdrop.
A good photo is a cooperation between the model and the photographer. So coaching and making a model feel at ease is vital. But after that, the real creativity comes into play, and during the workshops, I try to focus at least 80% on creativity.

This can be with lighting, but also with the storytelling part.

As mentioned in the previous blog post, working in “super creativity” model can enhance your skills way above the level you would achieve if you only shoot what you are hired for. Plus if you can shoot images that your client is not used from you it could very well be that he/she asks for something a bit more creative.

Visit www.frankdoorhof.com and www.photography-workshops.eu for the workshops in Dutch and English.

Aimed light

TIP: Look at the old lighting styles

Now a days we have all this gear that makes our life easier, but does it…. sometimes I get the idea that it also confuses people and I mean REALLY confuses people.

Often I get mails asking me what the settings were for my camera if someone likes a shot, well….. sorry to burst that bubble but actually the settings are pretty irrelevant…. you choose the aperture for the depth of field you want to see and this is also highly depended on the lens you’re using and the camera you’re holding of course, and the shutter speed for the studio… well that really doesn’t matter as long as you cut the ambient light and stay below the Xsync, so most of the times it’s 1/125. 

What I mostly tell people during my workshops is that they should look for the light, don’t be overwhelmed with questions about gear, often I think people hide the fact that they are not able to recreate something to the fact that they don’t have the gear to do it. Trust me compared to what we have today, in the old days they had a lot less.

Take for example a technique I call “Aimed light”.
With this technique I create something pretty dark with backlighting and use a single light source aimed at the models face, someone has to keep following that face, because it’s a really tight light source, or the model has to stay in one place.

This way you can create something that always reminds me of a modern twist to the film noir lighting, and yeah I know it’s completely different but it is where I took my inspiration from.

If you look at this example shot you actually see a 2 light setup, one Elinchrom beauty dish with grid from the back and one Elinchrom Snoot from the front, that’s it. Nothing complicated, now add a cool model, a strong color and there you go….. no need to worry about gear, this would look the same with a Canon 10D, a Nikon D4s or a Sony A7r (this was shot with a Medium format camera btw :D)

So next time, don’t think that you can’t do something because you don’t have the gear, dissect the image and recreate it, lighting isn’t hard (as soon as you understand it) but creating a fitting mood and working with the model and styling that’s pretty important 😀

Have fun.

Marie Mei 30 2014 (66 of 119)-Edit