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The Art of Black and White Photography: Techniques for Creating Superb Images in a Digital Workflow [Hardcover]

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Item description for The Art of Black and White Photography: Techniques for Creating Superb Images in a Digital Workflow by Torsten Andreas Hoffmann...

Over the last few years, most books on photography emphasized explaining the new breed of cameras and how to master the digital imaging workflow. In The Art of Black and White Photography Torsten Andreas Hoffmann takes a different approach, as he focuses on image composition and image capture, with an emphasis on the creative aspects of black and white photography, rather than on the digital workflow.

After introducing the ground rules of composition, the author illustrates their applications with various photographic genres such as architecture, street photography, portraiture, and surreal photography with his own stunning black and white images. In the second part of the book, Hofmann illustrates the elements of a photographic language , which distinguishes creative photography from random shooting. The final part of the book is dedicated to post-processing techniques, mostly in Photoshop (CS3), emphasizing the functions that are necessary for creating outstanding black and white images.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   272
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 10.1" Width: 8.3" Height: 0.8"
Weight:   2.1 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   May 30, 2008
Publisher   Rocky Nook
ISBN  193395227X  
ISBN13  9781933952277  

Availability  0 units.

More About Torsten Andreas Hoffmann

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Photography > Digital Photography
2Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Photography > General
3Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Photography > Reference
4Books > Subjects > Computers & Internet > Computer Science
5Books > Subjects > Computers & Internet > Graphics & Illustration > Digital Photography
6Books > Subjects > Computers & Internet > Software > Business > Workflow

Reviews - What do customers think about The Art of Black and White Photography: Techniques for Creating Superb Images in a Digital Workflow?

Black and White is not dead - it has its advantages over the world of color.  Jul 14, 2008
Black and White is not dead - it has its advantages over the world of color. "The Art of Black and White Photography: Techniques for Creating Superb Images in a Digital Workflow" is a complete and comprehensive guide to the craft of taking photos in the style of black and white. Chapters discuss when black and white should be used rather than color, how to avoid the cliches so often associated with black and white, applying new technology to improve an old art, and much more. For anyone enthusiastic about photography, "The Art of Black and White Photography: Techniques for Creating Superb Images in a Digital Workflow" is a must-have.

Diane C. Donovan
California Bookwatch
A Hearty Welcome to Another Top German Photographer/Author  Jun 3, 2008
This is a welcome volume for B&W photogs and a useful read for color photographers from another fine German photographer/author. This is Hoffmann's first instructional book to be published in English, although he has had numerous articles on image design/composition published in the magazine "Leica Fotographie International", or LFI, which, by the way, is not published by Leica-Camera GMBH.

Hoffmann emphasizes the possibilities in tonal manipulation in digital and analogue photographing. The point of his presentation is always to show how manipulating the tones and, therefore, contrast, contributes to the design of the image with respect to the photographer's intentions. He spends a significant amount of space on showing how to elicit mood in various kinds of photographs (content).

His chapters start with, what I find to be, rather interesting summaries of the chapter topic's history, significant practitioners, and current directions. Then he examines several of his own images in detail. His commentary on an image concentrates on the visual structure and on the darkroom and/or digital manipulations necessary to realize his intentions. The only other book that comes to mind for nearly such excellence in pictorial descriptions or captions is the first edition of Bill Smith's "Designing a Photograph," which sets the standard for applying the Gestalt visual psychological approach to analyzing image structure.

Rather differently from the other two top volumes on image structure currently in print, Michael Freeman's "The Photographer's Eye," and Harald Mante's "The Photograph," Hoffmann spends significant time looking at the various genres of photographic subject matter and then covers composing/design from the point of view of visual tensions and abstract structure. There is overlap with both of the other volumes, but also depth and emphasis that is his own. Color is not part of the subject in this book, but color photographers will benefit from Hoffmann's insights into tonality, contrast, and structure in images.

This book, IMHO, sort of completes the circle of really good books on photographic composition/design at the intermediate level. With this book, the years 2007 and 2008 have been the best in a few decades for the publication of outstanding books on design/composition, and it is interesting to this reviewer that the three best are by an English and two German photographer/authors . It just does not seem that US practioners are taught the nuts and bolts of visual design to any degree of depth and ability to articulate their thoughts about image structure. The ability of even world class US photographers to discuss the reasons that their images work in structural terms is relatively rare.

I like this book enough to make a triumvirate of this one, Freeman's book, and Mante's book for readers interested in sophisticated, analytical approaches to visual design and image structure. The only thing I would wish for is that more of his photos be accompanied by those delightful little thumbnails with his structural line diagrams. The more of these there are in a book, the more an interested reader packs away in one's mental image databank for later resurrection and use.

Some asides before I finish. Hoffmann gets more visual mileage from aircraft vapor trails than anyone else I know of. Most of us regard these as intrusions into the tranquility of our landscape images. But, in the venerable tradition of divorcing content from an image's abstract structure, and the role of structure being to support the content, Hoffmann integrates these features into his images so forcefully that to remove them would ruin the image. Bravo; Mante would be proud.

Too, the basic structural architecure of many of his images rests upon the grid formed from the golden ratio approximations of breaking the height and width into 5/8th and 3/8th divisions. One advantage of this choice versus the preference of US photographers for the Thirds Rule is that the Thirds method breaks the space into nine identical rectangles - a recipe well on the way to boring space management. Yet, as shows Charles Bouleau in his seminal book, "The Painter's Secret Geometry," even relatively simple visual architectures in the hands of someone with excellent training and inspired talent yield captivating, dynamic images, while the plodders among us achieve less subtle and interesting results.

I hope it will not be so long before Hoffmann gives us a volume on design in color photography.


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