Re: Re: Lesson 9: Black & White Photography

Duncan Rawlinson

Thanks for submitting yet another great shot!

You’ve really excelled on this one.

The assignment:

This will be an assignment which will challenge you as a black and white photographer. For this assignment create a black and white photograph with the following characteristics

1. A wide tonal range
2. An uneven tonal balance which is unevenly slanted towards the black end of the spectrum making the photograph appear low key (dark).

You can have gray tones as well but the majority of your picture should be black tones with small amounts of white highlights.

1: Wide tonal range.

You really can’t get wider in tonal range than the white and black keys of a piano! The image features both the darkest of blacks and the lightest of whites. So you’ve surely succeeded on this element of the assignment.

2: Uneven tonal balance.

If you forgive the bad choice of words this photo is quite ‘low key’ …

The photo feels quite brooding and you can almost tell the pianist is playing a dark piece. So again, you’ve succeeded on this element of the assignment.

Overall this is a great photo but here are a couple of minor notes.


1: Simplify, simplify, simplify! Whatever this is the in frame it doesn’t need to be there. So always remember cut everything out that doesn’t add to the frame.

2: Always shoot reflections. Reflections invariable seem to add another dimension to photos and always be aware of them. Sometimes shooting them adds to the frame but not always. It may have made for an interesting dynamic in this image.

3: If you can control the environment clear up the background. In this case there is something in the background which I keep looking at. It takes me away from the central element in the photograph which are the pianists’ hands and the keys of the piano. That said, the extra dimension of another piano is a nice background element.

Regarding your question about blue/black/green tints ‘that happen’.

Can you rephrase the question? I’m a little confused by what you mean.


Keep it up!