NPSNZ Black and White Photography Workshop – 22 September 2018

Presenter: Stacey 

Report by: Barry 

Venue: Rock and Mineral Clubrooms, 110 Waltham Road, Waltham

Fourteen members including our presenter attended the half day workshop. We kicked off the event at 9.30 am and concluded the indoor session at mid-day. After lunch, several of us visited the Addington Cemetery on Selwyn Street for some practice shots. 

The clubrooms are a good venue for running a workshop with this number of participants. The collapsible tables and chairs are easy and quick to set up. The historic cemetery is a suitable location for taking practice photos taking into account not only composition but the elements necessary for strong black & white images i.e. tonal range, contrast, texture, light, shadows etc.

The workshop was the second of three for 2018. The objective was to provide the opportunity for members to enhance their black & white photo taking skills, receive practical advice, or perhaps to achieve a higher level of satisfaction from their photography.

Stacey compiled a 29 page handout that was printed for members to take. These along with the comprehensive discussions will be of benefit to members attending the workshop.

This was a well structured and run workshop. The key elements for taking successful black & white images were covered- “learn to see in black & white”, “arrange the composition to take into account the elements that will make the image more compelling”,” when looking at a scene for instance a landscape what camera techniques would provide more contrast such as a ND filter or changing position to put emphasis on the foreground v the background where the tonal range is flat or dominated by mid tones”, “use of contrast for creative effect”, “look for surface elements that make the image e.g. lines and shapes and details”, “light sometimes regarded as poor for colour may be a good combined with post processing for a dramatic black & white image”, “how using tonal range and contrast to highlight shapes and patterns- visit the Christchurch Fanfare to check this out”,  “shooting in black & white may be an option in bright daylight and thus hopefully achieve a better outcome than in colour given the right composition etc”, and “ use of black & white to bring out the details”.

Stacey also ran through a basic post-processing exercise in Light room and Nik software.

Overall a successful workshop backed up by the comprehensive handout that will be a good reference guide.

Our thanks to Stacey for leading the workshop, passing on practical advice based on her experience in this medium and the considerable time spent on preparation. 

To view more images please visit Flickr