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Black and White: From Snapshots to Great Shots [Illustrated] [Paperback]

by John Batdorff
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 30, 2011 0321774574 978-0321774576 1

Now that you’ve bought that amazing new DSLR, you need a book that goes beyond the camera manual to capture stunning images. For digital photographers interested in black and white, this guide will help beginning- and intermediate-level shooters conquer the fundamentals and take amazing shots.

Pro photographer John Batdorff starts with the basics, including composition, light, contrast, exposure, and when to choose black and white. He covers all the key camera features (regardless of what type of DSLR you have) that affect your image, including the shutter speed’s ability to freeze and convey motion, and the aperture’s direct correlation with depth of field.

Once you’ve captured those great shots, John takes you step by step through the color conversion process to black and white in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom using simple presets. He also covers the enhancements and features that can be added using Nik Silver Efex Pro software–from presets to control points using U-Point Technology.

Follow along with your friendly and knowledgeable guide and you will:

  • Learn to see in black and white by understanding contrast, texture, and lighting
  • Understand all the best tricks and techniques for getting great black and white action shots, landscapes, and portraits
  • Create your own digital workflow by understanding the basics of post processing in Lightroom, then go beyond the basics with Nik Silver Efex Pro
  • Share your images and learn tips on printing and presenting your work online
  • And once you've got the shot, show it off! Join the book's Flickr group, share your photos, and discuss how you use your camera to get great black and white shots at flickr.com/groups/blackandwhite fromsnapshotstogreatshots.


Frequently Bought Together

Black and White: From Snapshots to Great Shots + Composition: From Snapshots to Great Shots + Landscape Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots
Price for all three: $55.43

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Now that you've bought that amazing new DSLR, you need a book that goes beyond the camera manual to capture stunning images. For digital photographers interested in black and white, this guide will help beginning- and intermediate-level shooters conquer the fundamentals and take amazing shots.

Pro photographer John Batdorff starts with the basics, including composition, light, contrast, exposure, and when to choose black and white. He covers all the key camera features (regardless of what type of DSLR you have) that affect your image, including the shutter speed’s ability to freeze and convey motion, and the aperture’s direct correlation with depth of field.

Once you’ve captured those great shots, John takes you step by step through the color conversion process to black and white in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom using simple presets. He also covers the enhancements and features that can be added using Nik Silver Efex Pro software–from presets to control points using U-Point Technology.

Follow along with your friendly and knowledgeable guide and you will:

  • Learn to see in black and white by understanding contrast, texture, and lighting
  • Understand all the best tricks and techniques for getting great black and white action shots, landscapes, and portraits
  • Create your own digital workflow by understanding the basics of post processing in Lightroom, then go beyond the basics with Nik Silver Efex Pro
  • Share your images and learn tips on printing and presenting your work online
  • And once you've got the shot, show it off! Join the book's Flickr group, share your photos, and discuss how you use your camera to get great black and white shots at flickr.com/groups/blackandwhitefromsnapshotstogreatshots.

About the Author

John Batdorff is an award-winning landscape and travel photographer who splits his time between Chicago and Montana. He is the author of Nikon D7000: From Snapshots to Great Shots and a coauthor of Composition: From Snapshots to Great Shots. His black and white images have been featured in the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He also leads black and white workshops and mentors other aspiring photographers. John loves the outdoors and traveling, and sharing his images with others. See his work and read his popular photography blog at batdorffphotography.com.

Product Details

  • Series: From Snapshots to Great Shots
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Peachpit Press; 1 edition (July 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321774574
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321774576
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #346,262 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Batdorff is a Chicago based professional photographer, author, instructor, and a nationally recognized authority on black and white photography. His work has been featured in the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the Travel Photographer, and Digital Photo Experience. John teaches classes at his Chicago studio and leads on-location workshops.

Blog www.johnbatdorff.com
Workshops www.johnbatdorff.com/workshops
Google+ https://plus.google.com/+Johnbatdorff
Facebook www.facebook.com/JohnBatdorffPhotography
Twitter http://twitter.com/Johnbatdorff


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to read, practical August 14, 2011
Format:Paperback
I typically do not write reviews for items I purchase. However, after reading through this book I felt compelled to do so. Black & White | from snapshots to great shots is simply one of the most applicable books I have read pertaining to photography. John does a marvelous job of explaining some real key points of B&W photography, in a very simple way so that it is easily understood and can be easily applied. What I found particularly helpful, is the fact that the book is not only about "in camera" captures. It covers post process, sharing and a little marketing as well. All of this is extremely helpful to someone like myself, who is new to photography, and really looking to gain exposure. Ha ha, no pun intended... (okay, maybe a little) I would highly recommend this book to all photographers whose niche is B&W photography as well as those looking to gain some ideas on expanding their creativity.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get up and running with digital B&W August 23, 2011
Format:Paperback
An outstanding book! For anyone that is trying to get started in black and white photography or is just looking to improve their skills and learn something new, this is a great place to look. John, in his very readable writing style, takes you from the very basics, like what type of equipment you need, through all the details of "getting the shot", and finally through post processing, printing and sharing using Lightroom and Nik's Silver Efex Pro.

Best points:
-The scope of the topics covered. This book literally takes you from what to look for when purchasing gear all the way through to making prints.

-Each topic is covered in a very understandable, concise manner.

-The "Poring over the picture" sections are great. They give you insight into the more important aspects of the image; what the photographer was thinking when the shot was taken, why he chose the gear he used, etc.

-The author. You would be hard pressed to find a more accessible photographer. His writing style, obviously honed though years of writing his blog, is incredibly readable as well. It reads more like a conversation than a text book and maintains your interest even through some of the more technical topics.

Now for the bad points:
-Really, my only gripe is the amount of focus on Lightroom and Nik's Silver Efex Pro 2. If you don't use these pieces of software (I use Photoshop pretty much exclusively) you might not be able to follow some of the walk-throughs word for word. The concepts presented are still valid though and can be used with other software if you have the ability to find the workarounds. It was helpful to see the process in other software though. My next software purchases will definitely be Lightroom and Silver Efex Pro 2. Way easier than my current work-flow.

Conclusion: Buy the book already! The knowledge and information here are too good to pass up.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of good info August 25, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a good book for shooting and processing black & white digital images. John goes through the whole process an explains it pretty clearly. This book is fore those using Lightroom and possibly Nik Silver Efex. I don't have the Nik software yet but will use this book as a reference. I have already applied some of the tips he suggests in Lightroom and like the results.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Black and White: From Snapshots to Great Shots September 1, 2012
Format:Misc. Supplies|Verified Purchase
The book Black and White: From Snapshots to Great Shots is well written and lacking the usual acronyms you may find in forums and blogs. It took me weeks to figure out what OOF and IQ meant. Regardless, I know there were complaints about how this book (and DVD) were geared toward Lightroom and Nik Silver Effects Pro and their complaints are justified. However, I use both of them as well as Adobe Elements 10 and a few Topaz Labs plugins so I don't have the same complaint. John Batdorff presented the use of this software with some of his own images which he also described how he captured them and I thought he did it very well in both the book and the DVD but it helps if you are familiar with this type of software.
My only complaint about the book and DVD is too much time is spent on 'whats in my camera bag'. I have one other book from PeachPit press that does the same thing and it's a waste of time. One thing I don't use Canon or Nikon gear, I use Pentax. In fact I have a Pentax K-5 and a K-7, along with a number of lenses that I have acquired over the past several years and I'm very satisfied with them. And I have no intention of switching to CaNikon because this sort of thing is at best a promo and that also includes the type of software being used.
Finally, if you don't have this software this book and DVD won't do you any good. Personally, I like both software packages very much but don't go out and buy it because it's recommended. You will have to determine what your needs are and to have both packages will cost several hundred dollars, something to consider. Lots of stuff out there, do research!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
When I opened this book "Black and White: From Snapshots to Great Shots", it was three months before I worked up the energy to flip the pages. But only one evening of page turning and highlighting to complete it.

You shouldn't bother with this book unless you really do want to expend the energy to improve your black and whites or pry your butt from the recliner over and over. It's not a read-and-put-away book. It's one of those rare outputs from a pro photographer that shares not only useful insights and tips but plops you in the action of their workflow - which I've struggled with, oh how I've struggled.

John's a rule breaker, which contributes to my being a fan of his work. He refers to keeping all the rules in your head as "paralysis of analysis". I agree. And that paralysis hits me in the "darkroom" as well as on site. I begin viewing a likeable image and mentally start breaking down over what should be lighter, darker, what shadow detail I should worry about, the highlight details that may be blown out, etc. A lot of great shots never get the deserved attention because I'm too overwhelmed with analyzing the image. He takes us by the hand and walks through all of that utilizing Lightroom - all the way through printing and/or sharing the image online.

You're ready for the truth and someone worthy of delivering it in a way that makes you want to pry from the recliner? This is the book for you.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book. Very concise and well written. Also good discussion on...
Good book. Very concise and to the point. Explains using post processing software for B&W photography. He explains using Lightroom and Silver efx Pro software step by step. Read more
Published 1 month ago by MichaelB
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome info
This book should have been a part of my collection a long time ago; great reading material for photography interest.
Published 4 months ago by TB
4.0 out of 5 stars Yet another carefully written book by John Batdorff.
If you have an interest in exploring or learning "black and white" photography, this book is an excellent place to start.
Published 6 months ago by Richard W Butterworth
5.0 out of 5 stars as a beginner in B&W
Although i grew up with B&W film ( kodak box brownie) it was hit and miss
Now i've gone digital i find this book easy to understand 'cause I love B&W,
I'm learning... Read more
Published 11 months ago by ron prior
5.0 out of 5 stars John Batdorff
It is a practical photography hand book, It is easy to understand & read. Highly recommend for the starter of photography
Published 11 months ago by Siu-Chung So
5.0 out of 5 stars An Essential for the Serious Photogrpaher's Library
I own a LOT of photography books, and I mean A LOT! This is the first one that I have read cover to cover............twice! Read more
Published 12 months ago by photojunkie
5.0 out of 5 stars Still reading, but it's insightful.
The books quality in craftsmanship is fairly cheap. It feels like a hardcover book that they forgot to put the hardcover on. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Richyyrich
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
THe contents of the book itself is worth having. Even if you have done photography for a while .. it will ground you and bring you back to the reason you fell inlove with... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Annette
5.0 out of 5 stars Black and White: From Snapshots to Great Shots
Great Book to start with B&W photography, give you the inside and also give you the basics that can be apply to any type of photography....easy to read ...I like it very much
Published 18 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful
This book is worth buying, it covers the entire B&W process and how to understand it. - it's easy to read not over technical and even spends time on the best of the B&W processing... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Walter Pike
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