Montacute House is an Elizabethan mansion in the South West of England. I was there on a pretty dull and overcast day, but I thought the way the sky was reflected in the windows, the texture of the stone facade and the overhanging branches might make an effective composition, even though the image straight from the camera didn’t look interesting at all. Here’s a … [Read more...] about Montacute House in moody monochrome with split toning
Dodging and burning and why it's still needed
Dodging and burning is an old black and white technique for darkening or lightening different areas of a print while it's being developed. For many photographers this was and is an essential part of the black and white process Capturing the image in the camera is the mechanical stage of the operation, and manipulation in the darkroom is the creative stage.
Dodging and burning is a creative process that's just as relevant now that we process images digitally as it was when it was done with chemicals. It's all about enhancing the tones, the composition and the balance of a picture to create a visually satisfying image.
Dodging and burning isn't restricted to black and white, and many colour images benefit from selective lightening and darkening too – though black and white seems to withstand heavy manipulation much better.
There are many different ways to apply dodging and burning. In Photoshop you might use selections and adjustment layers or the Dodge and Burn tools. In Lightroom you might use the Adjustment Brush, while Viveza (Nik Collection) uses intuitive control points.
Back in the days of film, a ‘straight’ black and white print was only a stepping stone. A properly finished print was almost always enhanced with some skilled ‘dodging and burning’. Dodging and burning is a classic technique in black and white, where certain areas of a print are held back (dodged) under the enlarger to make them lighter and others are given extra exposure … [Read more...] about Rediscover dodging and burning in black and white
Maybe you wouldn't normally think of Capture One Pro as an image-editor. It's a superb RAW converter and general image enhancement tool, but most of the time you'd probably swap to a plug-in or an external editor for really detailed effects work – especially any that required localised adjustments. • Capture One Pro 11.1 review But I've been spending some time with Capture … [Read more...] about Black and white in Capture One Pro
Viveza 2 is part of the DxO Nik Collection, and I think it's in danger of being overlooked in favour of the newer, flashier or more versatile plug-ins in the collection. Viveza 2 is designed to offer localised adjustments for your digital image using the 'control point' technology now found throughout the Google Nik Collection. Viveza 2 control points combine adjustments and … [Read more...] about Who needs HDR when you’ve got Viveza 2 control points?
Dodging and burning was a standard darkroom technique for black and white photographers, but it works just as well on colour shots. 'Dodging' is where you lighten selected areas of the image and 'burning' is where you darken them. With the Lightroom adjustment brush tool this is really easy to do, and you can control much more than just the brightness level. I'm going to … [Read more...] about How to use the Lightroom adjustment brush tool to dodge and burn your colour shots
The Soft Contrast slider is one of the new features introduced in Silver Efex Pro 2, and its effects are quite different to the regular Contrast control. At first it can seem quite difficult to work out a use for it, but you'll soon discover when you start digging around in the presets that it keeps on cropping up. So here's an example where its effects can be seen very … [Read more...] about Discover the power of Silver Efex Pro Soft Contrast
Black and white photography relies heavily on dodging and burning to add emphasis to certain parts of the image, to balance or contrast areas of tone, and improve the overall composition – and Silver Efex Pro's control points let you do this in moments, without masks or selections. You don't always need them. Silver Efex Pro's edge burning tools, vignettes and other options … [Read more...] about How to use control points in Silver Efex Pro
Burning in the edges of your pictures is a great way to enhance the composition because it improves the picture's overall contrast and helps you concentrate attention on the picture's focal point. The point is that converting your pictures to black and white is just the start, and 'digital' techniques like channel mixing are useful but not enough on your own. What you really … [Read more...] about Use edge burning to enhance your composition in Silver Efex Pro 2
Aperture can be used to create localised adjustments, but at first glance it doesn't seem terribly effective. You can 'brush in' adjustments via a pop-up menu, but they aren't particularly powerful and they do quickly get complicated as you to try to juggle additional tools in the adjustments panel on the left. But there is a simpler approach that can produce much more … [Read more...] about How to dodge and burn in Aperture