Re: Re: black & white

Duncan Rawlinson

Good composition seems to come quite naturally to you. I’m impressed with your bravery in terms of how you use space (you’re not afraid to go wide) and you consistently manage to keep your photograph’s edges clean. These compositions in particular look very thoughtful. I hope the technical elements of the craft are starting to become more intuitive to you.

Both images above have great tonal range. I’m glad you found this project so challenging. Seeing in tones is one of the most interesting elements of photography. Thinking about the way that different colors absorb or reflect light and are represented through a tonal spectrum is a very exciting photographic subject. As you’ve mentioned it’s also not an easy one. Some camera’s have “levels’ monitors on them, but it’s helpful to try to “eye” your scenes for tonal range to get in the habit of trying to recognize it.

Your first image is not only quite brave with your use of space, but also very well organized with a strong sense of depth and texture. Not only that, but now you had the added layer of needing to incorporate deep blacks and vibrant whites and you’ve managed to do just that! You get some very deep blacks in the shadows of the rocks and in the foreground of this image (I love the foreground by the way), and you get brighter whites in the top 2/3rds of the shot (clouds).

The second image is nothing short of breathtaking. I’m blown away by this low key shot with beautiful bright highlights. Finding such tonal imbalance is not an easy task. There is usually more of a gradient between dark and light tones, but in this shot you have very few gray tones. The gray tones that do exist provide an excellent source of texture and help liven the shot up without being too overbearing or making the shot look flat. What a dramatic shot! Great work.