Broad view

2010, Photography

Not too long ago I received some requests for maybe sharing some of my post processing B&W conversion techniques. I am still contemplating on the thought of putting up an article about just that. Partly I see it as a pure technical thing to explain some post processing skills, but for me my post processing is also something very personal. It is part of my style that I developed and keep on developing. It is part of how I see. How it reflects my emotions. Sharing some of these skills is like sharing something of me.

Still I realize that it might help others to understand some of the B&W post processing too. Therefore I am thinking of writing an article that is not only pure technical. I also will try to write about my thoughts and considerations with my B&W photography and post processing.

Photograph by Wouter Brandsma

14 thoughts on “Broad view

  1. Many of the finest artists share their skills, that is what workshops and books are about. Ansel Adams is a fine example of someone that shared his way of performing technical magic.

    1. I agree. It has it’s pro’s and cons. A trap could be the copying. You see it all over the place where other photographers make photographs exactly like Michael Kenna. Too little adjust what they learned into their own photography.

      1. well yes people could copy and no doubt they will, you can consider that flattery or you can find it objectional. Those seriously interested will be trying for themselves anyway.

        1. If it helps others to free their mind and expand their horizons than I have absolutely no problem with copying. I honestly think we all do so in some way in order to learn something new.

  2. Wouter, you seem to have a consistent and uncanny knack of broaching amazingly thought-provoking subjects in what must be the barest minimum of words. Totally admirable. Must be in the way you say things.

    Anyway, you’ve done it again with this post, haven’t you?

    I’d barely finished reading it before fingers were itching over the keyboard. Alas. Typical me. Far too many words for a simple comment. So I’ve had to say it all elsewhere.

    But I guess this is why I enjoy coming back here, again and again. And the pics of course!

    1. Thank you Mike. People who know me know that I can be rather lengthly with spoken and written words. Writing after midnight seems to do the trick for me 🙂

      And I suggest people read your post too!!

  3. Wouter

    I admire your black and white work, but it’s the vision that counts and so understanding some of your philosophy behind how you see things would be very enlightening. I really look forward to this article.

    1. It is all about inspiring and getting inspired I guess. Sometimes it is the less obvious that eventually inspires you. To become conscious of the unconcious decision making.

  4. I would keep it to yourself. Explaining too much destroys the ‘magic’. If people are really interested in developing their own personal post processing why not suggest certain books that would help them?

    1. The books I read, the films I watch, the paintings I admire have nothing to do directly with photography and technique. But these inspire me a lot. I haven’t checked tutorials since 2007.

      I don’t know how much of the magic will be destroyed. It is all so personal.

  5. You can give people a recipe but that does not mean that it will turn out the same for everyone. There is always “magic” or experience or one’s own vision that plays into it.

    Your comments remind me of Sean Reid’s latest essay on workflow called Soup To Nuts. It’s a lengthy, thoughtful essay that goes way beyond the technical aspects of workflow – it’s more philosophical than technical. You already seem interested in doing something similar and I would be very interested in hearing what you have to say. It could not just inform, but inspire as well.

    1. For me it is all about that magic, the personal touch. And thank you for reminding me on the latest Sean Reid article. I am glad he started writing again.

  6. I really love the look of your B&W photographs Wouter and I am on the verge of going totally B&W. But I’m not there yet, especially with the use of contrast so I would be interested in what you have to say. Also, I think you have written previously about using in-camera B&W with basic adjustments in order to not spend so much time post-processing..I’d be interested in that too. 🙂

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