“Getting Started” Weeks 7 & 8 Photography Workshop
11 Jun 2018
On the 25th April 2018, the ‘Get Started’ photo portfolio group at Pensthorpe worked with the theme of: Monochrome. We set our cameras to record both JPEG + RAW – we did this because we wanted to have both a colour & B&W image to work with and also to be able to view in PLAYBACK the monochrome shot – you are always viewing the JPEG file in playback which is why it will be monochrome, even if you set JPEG+RAW. Because the RAW is unaffected by these settings, when you look at them on the PC they will be in colour. This is a very handy tip, as it is often hard to decide if a shot would work well in monochrome.
We took photos in the wooded area at the furthest reaches of Pensthorpe and explored the following techniques and camera settings:
We took photos exploring the Monochrome setting in-camera – check your camera to see if you can access monochrome via either Picture Style or Picture Control menu. We set ‘Sharpness to ‘0’ and then experimented with Contrast – high contrast images have very dark and very light areas and are very bold whereas low contrast images are much softer and might look quite grey.
We then experimented with in-camera Filters:
- Filters – None (N), Yellow (Ye), Orange (Or), Red (R) and Green (G)
- Yellow—the blue sky will look more natural and the white clouds will look crisper
- Orange—the blue sky will look slightly darker. The sunset will look more brilliant
- Red—the blue sky will look dark. Autumn leaves will look crisper and brighter
- Green—Skin tones and lips will look fine. Tree leaves will look crisper & brighter
We then experimented with in-camera Toning:
- Toning – None (N), Sepia (S), Blue (B), Purple (P) and Green (G) – produces a monochrome image in the colour of the filter chosen
Why don’t you have a go? It is great fun. Here is a selection of images produced by the group. Next time we are exploring techniques for taking wildlife photos. In our editing session we looked at Adobe Photoshop Elements and chose Enhance menu > Convert to Black & White. This is a really nice way to change form colour to monochrome.
Catkins in sepia
This week we were photographing in monochrome and we experimented with contrast, filter and toning effects within the camera settings. As I was using my 100-400mm lens I found that I was too close to subjects to get a decent landscape image. I therefore concentrated on capturing subjects close up and I was pleased with this one of the catkins on the tree filling the frame with the background blurred.
Camera Canon EOS 5D Mk 3, Lens EF 100-400 mm, f8, 1/640 sec, ISO 800
This is my first foray into the world of monochrome. Loved the depth and detail that this fungus provided which was highlighted by use of sepia tone.
This week we were exploring the in-camera settings for taking black and white photos. Pensthorpe has the most magnificent trees and it is particularly difficult to portray their grandeur. I changed my camera settings from standard to take black and white images. Shooting up into the tree canopy produced a silhouette against the light sky. 1/500 sec. with an aperture of f/8 and ISO 200.
We were practising monochrome photography and exploring these settings available in camera. I took two of the images using ISO 1000. The landscape one of the tree tops was taken using f13 as I wanted sharpness throughout. The portrait image was using f5.6 to obtain sharpness on the trunk of the tree, but not the branches higher up. The third image was taken with ISO 100 and f22 and using intentional camera movement to create an ‘arty’ shot. I had not planned to use the three images together in this way but when reviewing them I felt they worked visually well and made a good composition.