This evening we had twice the benefit from the occasion. Hunter Kennedy made the long journey from Carluke in the snow to judge our Black and White print competition and also give us a short presentation of his work. The combination worked really well, and it was really useful to see how the feedback and advice given in the competition is realised in Hunter’s own work. A beneficial evening for all members. Here is the advice Hunter gave us on black and white photography:
- Black and white photography is harder than colour photography because you only have tones to work with. The colour information can’t help.
- The subject needs to be distinguished from the background by adding contrast to the subject and reducing the contrast of the background. Don’t let your subject become hidden by a background of similar tones.
- Depth of field can also help you separate subject from background.
- Adding contrast to the subject also gives the illusion of more sharpness.
- In a monochrome landscape, add depth by applying less contrast to the background than the foreground.
- Vignetting the edges of an image can help concentrate attention on the subject, but don’t overdo it. An image will look ugly if you turn the edges black and lose detail.
- Avoid noise in shadow areas by exposing to the right (i.e. increase exposure until the histogram just touches the right hand side without clipping the highlights).
- Be careful about symmetrical compositions. It is often better to put your main subject on a third. (Hunter prefers to use the right hand third.)
The top scorers in the black and white print competition were (in reverse order):
- 5th place (48 points)
- Malcolm Roberts
- 4th place (49 points)
- Simon Wilkinson
- 3rd place (50 points)
- Mike Clark
- 2nd place (51 points)
- George Todd
- 1st place (57 points)
- Joe Fowler
The top images were:
- Flat Out (Joe Fowler) – 20 points
- The Forge (Joe Fowler) – 19 points
- The Metro (Joe Fowler) – 18 points
- Castle Stalker (Simon Wilkinson) – 18 points
- Buachaille Etive Mor (George Todd) – 18 points
A special mention goes to this image, which was popular with members during the tea break:
- Daisies (Jennifer Davidson) – 17 points
Well done to Joe, who who went flat out and forged ahead to win.