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Shooting a tone-based subject

From: Foundations of Photography: Black and White

Video: Shooting a tone-based subject

I have been really concentrating on the good light situation here, on this trestle with the sun going down and the long shadows and the nice highlights, but here off to the side, there is something very interesting, which is an area of really bad light, but there's something that I think that I can do with it, and there it's something tonal. If I look here, I've got this green lawn going out to the sea and cutting across is this winding path of sand, which is very light, and then I've got those backlit bushes back there, and then the ocean and the sky-- all of it in shade, so I've got no contrast on it. But if I'm thinking like a black-and-white shooter, what I'm seeing, if I remember, any color here can be any tone that I want.

Shooting a tone-based subject

I have been really concentrating on the good light situation here, on this trestle with the sun going down and the long shadows and the nice highlights, but here off to the side, there is something very interesting, which is an area of really bad light, but there's something that I think that I can do with it, and there it's something tonal. If I look here, I've got this green lawn going out to the sea and cutting across is this winding path of sand, which is very light, and then I've got those backlit bushes back there, and then the ocean and the sky-- all of it in shade, so I've got no contrast on it. But if I'm thinking like a black-and-white shooter, what I'm seeing, if I remember, any color here can be any tone that I want.

So I've got all this green, and I've got some blue. What if I toned this green really dark, so I've got this dark field with this white line snaking across of it? I've also got the stone circle that might light up, and then I've got the blue sky behind those bushes over there. The blue sky might be able to be toned dark to really bring out the highlighted vegetation over there. Again, I don't have great light here, but I've got very interesting tonal relationships: the tonal relationship between the potentially dark grass and the potentially light path, the tonal relationship between the sky and the backlit plants.

I'm not always looking for light when I'm shooting black and white; sometimes I'm just looking for interesting tone. So I'm still here in aperture priority mode, because I want to be sure this is all good depth of field. I cranked my ISO up to 400, because this is pretty dark. Now, actually, that's even going a little slow. Well, now I'm okay. I'm at 200th of a second. So what I am doing is I'm trying a few different framings, and this is a purely graphical construction here. I've just got these lines that I'm playing with. I like the idea of the path going right out of the corner of the frame. We want to maybe try and play around with the circles, centering it, maybe pushing it off to the side following my rule of thirds idea, and all that kind of stuff.

So I'm just working the shot a little bit, and we're going to see what we can do with these tones once we get into post-production.

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This video is part of

Image for Foundations of Photography: Black and White
Foundations of Photography: Black and White

39 video lessons · 22822 viewers

Ben Long
Author

 
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  1. 8m 25s
    1. Welcome
      1m 24s
    2. Why black and white?
      5m 12s
    3. Suggested prerequisites
      53s
    4. Using the exercise files
      56s
  2. 19m 43s
    1. Is it really black and white?
      1m 9s
    2. How gray corresponds to color
      4m 38s
    3. The medium of black and white
      3m 5s
    4. The vocabulary of black and white
      4m 46s
    5. The physiology of black and white
      2m 22s
    6. How a camera's image sensor captures an image
      3m 43s
  3. 32m 46s
    1. Preparing the camera
      3m 34s
    2. Light revisited
      6m 3s
    3. Seeing in black and white
      2m 21s
    4. Taking a black-and-white expedition
      1m 17s
    5. Finding and shooting a black-and-white image
      11m 14s
    6. Shooting a tone-based subject
      2m 0s
    7. Exposing for black and white
      6m 17s
  4. 1h 38m
    1. The nature of grayscale images
      3m 33s
    2. Converting to black and white using Photoshop CS4 or CS5
      6m 17s
    3. More about the Black & White dialog box
      3m 19s
    4. Converting to black and white using Black & White adjustment layers
      3m 55s
    5. Converting to black and white in Camera Raw
      4m 5s
    6. Making an advanced tonal correction
      17m 33s
    7. Doing more tonal corrections
      14m 6s
    8. Calming down highlights
      10m 4s
    9. Vignetting
      8m 58s
    10. The trestle images
      2m 39s
    11. Handling tricky skies
      2m 43s
    12. Doing a selective black-and-white conversion
      2m 23s
    13. Toning
      1m 19s
    14. Split-toning
      2m 19s
    15. High-key and low-key images
      2m 32s
    16. Diffusion
      4m 40s
    17. Using Nik Software's Silver Efex Pro 2 plug-in
      7m 46s
  5. 24m 14s
    1. Selecting a printer
      5m 17s
    2. Preparing the image for print
      8m 30s
    3. Configuring the Print dialog
      5m 9s
    4. Evaluating a print
      5m 18s
  6. 43s
    1. Goodbye
      43s

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