Converting Your Color Photos to Fine Art Quality Black and White

Ancient Bristlecone, photograph by Harold Davis from book The Photographer's Black and White Handbook, published by Monacelli Studio

Ancient Bristlecone, photograph by Harold Davis from book The Photographer’s Black and White Handbook, published by Monacelli Studio

You probably shoot images with your camera phone and then make adjustments or add effects using various apps, including one or more for converting your color photos to black and white (aka monochrome).  Many digital cameras also have options for converting color image captures to black and white. But those quick conversions are sort of one size fits all, and probably won’t produce the highest quality results for your specific image. Plus wouldn’t you like to know how to make color adjustments to get the best black and white results from the start. If you’d like to step up your quality and gain more control, master photographer Harold Davis has a new book to guide you. The title of the book is The Photographer’s Black & White Handbook.  The cover price is $35.00 but the book is currently available for $17.88 for a soft cover print copy and only $13.79 for a Kindle version.

Harold Davis, The Photographer's Black and White Handbook, published by Monacelli Press

Harold Davis, The Photographer’s Black and White Handbook, published by Monacelli Press

 

The book will guide you in post-processing your images using such tools as are available in Lightroom, Photoshop, and Topaz plug-ins. Not all are necessary. Each image layer is processed uniquely to your personal artistic vision, and the guidebook will get you started, answer many of your questions, and assist you in countless ways to help increase your understanding for better results. Of course, you still have to put in the time and effort. If you are already proficient using post process programs, and want to explore more possibilities for image effects, the last chapter of this book–CREATIVE B & W EFFECTS–covers such things as tinting and toning, split toning using various tools, selective color and hand painting, selective focus, solarizing, simulated infrared, vintage, antique and film effects, adding borders and so much more.

Rooftops of Paris, photograph by Harold Davis from book The Photographer's Black and White Handbook, pg 196-197, split-toned image, book published by Monacelli Studio

Rooftops of Paris, photograph by Harold Davis from book The Photographer’s Black and White Handbook, pg 196-197, split-toned image, book published by Monacelli Studio

 

Harold Davis’ website is called the Digital Field Guide https://www.digitalfieldguide.com

You can view more b & w photos from the book in my Niume article here.

The author very recently talked about his book, conversion processes, and showed images in a B & H Photo video presentation  –

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The Fantastical Human Art Forms of Olga Zavershinskaya aka Armene

Drop, Olga Zavershinskaya

Drop, Olga Zavershinskaya

Russian fine art photographer and artist Olga Zavershinskaya aka Armene lives and works in the Czech Republic. Olga has exhibited internationally and is represented by the Art Gallery AFK in Lisbon, Portugal. Her work contains combinations and contrasts–the beautiful in conjunction with the unbeautiful–as in Drop, above, where the controlled perfection of the lovely neck, face and hair of the model unexpectedly expands into an erratic splash of wet black ink, and in Dark Thoughts, where the model falls forward streaming ink from her hair in impossibly suspended lines, runs and drizzles.

Dark Thoughts, Olga Z

Dark Thoughts, Olga Z

Jellyfish, Olga Zavershinskaya

Jellyfish, Olga Zavershinskaya

In Olga’s photographic image titled Jellyfish, the diaphanous fluther of seaforms float as a backdrop for a lavender colored corpse-like human figure, the combination in such a scene causes wonderment in the viewer at the possibilities of this visual narrative.

Angle VI, Olga Zavershunskaya

Angle VI, Olga Zavershinskaya

Olga Zavershinskaya, master of anatomy, photographs the human form in elegant nudes, solo and minimal, as in Angle VI. Or nudes with props, such as the texture of the sheer wet fabric simultaneously covering and revealing the figure in Transparency IV.

Transparency IV

Transparency IV

Fantastical works of fantasy, as in the lush Peacock with several cyclopic eyes that gaze back at the viewer while other orbs in the image stray off to one side or the other and up, in one of Olga’s most enigmatic and surrealistic scenes, recalling tales of fantastic Magic Realism in a puzzlement at how she could have created the image!

Peacock, Olga Zavershinskaya

Peacock, Olga Zavershinskaya

Olga’s visualizations start her off on her use of the model to realize her unusual ideas and creative concepts, that she completes with with skillful post-production processing methods to produce the final images.

Spots, Olga Z

Spots, Olga Zavershinskaya