In this series of blog posts were talking about how to create Images with Impact. You know what I’m talking about. These are those images that really grab our attention, that capture our imaginations. There’s something special about them and it doesn’t have to be a mystery how they are created. There are a few simple techniques that you can use in Lightroom and Photoshop to add impact to your images. Now if you don’t use Photoshop, you can still do everything were talking about in Lightroom.
In the first article we talked about utilizing the full dynamic range of your medium. This is something Ansel Adams taught in his books and classes that was an essential element of his stunning landscape photographs. As he developed his technique which became known as the Zone System, the primary goal was to use the full dynamic range of his medium which, in his case, was the black and white print.
So we talked about that technique first because it is the most appropriate place to start. I do want to add that in color photography or color prints not every print benefits from a white point but virtually all prints benefit from a black point – which is what we want to talk about in this article.
What exactly is a black point? It is small portions of the print that are pure black. If you’re printing on paper than these are small portions that are the blackest black that the combination of paper and ink can achieve. As a side note, different combinations of paper and ink achieve different levels of blackness. But regardless of the combination you use, the blackest black that can be achieved is your black point.
You want to keep the black point areas very, very small because they have no detail. And generally speaking we like to see detail in our shadows, another guideline that I picked up from studying Ansel Adams. But you don’t want to eliminate black points, that is, in most cases. There are a few exceptions to this rule that I will talk about later.
Let’s take a look at the before and after images of our photograph. I shot this at the Huntington Library in South Pasadena a few weeks ago. It’s in their incredible cactus garden – endlessly fascinating.
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The 2012 Joshua Tree Fine Art Festival is coming up next weekend. The dates are Friday, April 6 to Sunday, April 8. I’m excited to be returning and catching up with old friends. This is the first art festival I ever did and so returning is like a homecoming. The festival is at the Oasis Visitor Center in Twentynine Palms, CA. The hours are 9:00 to 5:00. Come on out and see some great art.
I’ll be showing some old favorites along with some new photographs I’m very excited about. As far as the old favorites go I’m planning on showing Virgin River and the Watchman from Zion National Park.
This has proved to be my most popular photograph and has won awards. It was captured on Thanksgiving day back in 2008. I was in Zion with my wife and daughter for the Thanksgiving weekend. I slipped out for this sunset and caught a beauty. Beginners luck! I’ve returned many times but never with light this good. (By the way, to get a better view of the photographs you can enlarge them by clicking on them.)
To go along with the Watchman is another photograph taken that same weekend along the Riverside Walk to the Gateway to the Narrows. When my family is with me we always do this walk. It’s our favorite – for obvious reasons.
Continue reading “2012 Joshua Tree Annual Fine Art Festival” »
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