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Light & Shadow: Black & White Photography

A lesson about using contrast and light in photography.

Melanie Rapp

on 24 April 2017

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Transcript of Light & Shadow: Black & White Photography

Light & Shadow: Black & White Photography
Black & White:
It's all about light, shadow & contrast

Historical Photographs
Low Contrast
Mostly grey. Dark black or pure white are rarely visible.
High Contrast
Studio Lighting
Jim Crotty
Diane Arbus
Dorothea Lange
The Project
Helen Levitt
New York
Imogen Cunningham
Just like we aim for a balance exposure, with black and white photography we aiming for
balanced contrast.
Black, white, and not much grey in between.
(Sun behind subject) with fill flash.
Light is EXTREMELY important.
Light can make or break your image!
Natural Light/ Cloudy Day
Artiste Photography
In your groups answer the following questions for ONE photograph. Find the lesson on your computer. One student should display the photo, and another should have the Google Doc open. Students discuss as a group and take turns typing on the "Collaboration" Google Doc.

1. What is the subject of the photograph?
2. Where was it taken? When was it taken?
3. What stands out to you? Tiny details or big shapes? People or things?
4. What is its mood? How does it make you feel to look at it?
5. What do you think the photographer might be trying to communicate about his/her subject? What does he/she want you to know or notice about his/her subject?
6. What can you learn from this photograph?
7. Do you think that the photo has a different meaning and intent NOW? Does our culture and time in history give us a different perspective?

Window Light
Photography reflects
How will you help others understand your life, your place, and your culture?

How will you incorporate your passion into your photography?
How will YOU express YOURSELF through your photography?
From color to black and white:
HOW to load and use actions in Photoshop.
Direct Light

Michael Zang
Enduring Understanding
Process affects outcomes.
Student Examples
Low to High Contrast
Window Light (also indirect light)
Direct Light
vs. Indirect Light
Indirect light
is a light that has something that diffuses or softens the light between the light source and the subject. Clouds diffuse light. Shaded areas are indirect light.
Direct Light
Direct Light
Window Light
Indirect Light
Window Light
Direct Light
Use of Fisheye Lens
Light Writing/Illuminations
In Photography, your black and white process will determine the quality of the results.
Process: Desaturation or Grayscale
Process: Professional Photoshop Actions
Light Tutorial!
Lewis Hine
We know WHAT we are doing:
Black and white photography.

Now let's get to the HOW.
Helen Bagger
Direct light
is light that shines, without interference, directly on the subject. Sunny days and studio lighting...
Gallery Walks
For the first three work days (including today), you will be able to take photos. You will come back 20 minute before the end of class. Then you will put your images on your blog and we will have a gallery walk. All students will view other students' work. Feedback via sticky notes.
Studio Lighting can be direct or indirect.
1. Take your photos paying special attention to light and shadow.
Use a variety of light sources.
Remember to use all of the compositional and photography skills you have learned so far!
2. Use the black and white process in Photoshop (demo to follow). You MUST use Photoshop actions!
3. Place in your blog 4 Finals in Black and White and labeled:
Indirect (Soft) Light
(cloudy day, in the shade outside/window)
Direct (Hard) Light
(in the sun outside)

(must contain a shadow)
Intentional Use of Light for Researched Topic
4. For your last image, research a topic that is important to you (environment, human rights, identity, happiness, etc). Research is FACTS from RELIABLE RESOURCES (not opinion). Five facts/One paragraph minimum. PLAN and create an image that communicates your idea. EXPLAIN your choice of light for this image.
5. Turn in the 4 final black and whites onto the blog.

Haruki Murakami
Werner Bischof
Adele Cochrane
Marcin Ryczek
Boris Smelov
James Moore
Balanced Contrast
Diffused Light
Hard Light
Direct Light (studio)
Direct Light with Bokeh
Indirect Light (Cloudy Day) - Fisheye Lens
Indirect Light
Direct Light (studio)
On your blog:
Research a topic that is important to you (environment, human rights, identity, happiness, addictions, community, teen issues, depression, college affordability, etc).

(not opinion, memes, or biased news sources).

Five facts/One paragraph minimum.

PLAN and create an image that communicates your idea.

EXPLAIN your choice of light for this image.
Full transcript