Toning Your Photos For Maximum Impact


Street Photography: The Art of Photographing Strangers


Lesson Info

Toning Your Photos For Maximum Impact

I want teo I'm just going to turn a couple of these really quickly eso how would I decide how to turn a picture like this? This picture is all about the color to me it's a graphically driven picture it's all about the colors so I want to make it a little bit brighter I try to get my exposure's as close as I possibly can when I'm shooting um I would go in here into the what do you call this the brush tool that my post produced my postproduction guys says never to use but I'm supposed to use photo shop but I haven't got time so I would lighten up you see this hot spot behind the man's shoulder it's almost like there's a um there's trees or something out there try to balance it out a little bit not too much just just a little um and then I would punch up the blacks of it okay uh this picture is almost muted almost without it's almost monochrome already with exception of the gray with exception of the skin tone and those purple um codes in a jacket so I would turn that into black and white...

um I'm a little bit disturbed by that highlight here so you see the difference between what I just did there that's before not after like I think without seeing that highlight in the fire hydrant it actually helps the picture a little bit I would drop the highlights down a little bit bring back the exposure just to punch it up, give it some more blacks and then I would light in her eye like I said I was going to so not too much they aye there's different levels of turning that you could do to pictures some photography is like doing a lot you know, like those instagram filters that you see that a really intense and the picture is just like totally messed up some people love doing that I don't really like it is not my taste style is a style question now there's some newspapers who want except too much work to an image if you towing a photograph like if I do this for example in vignette if I've in yet that much a lot of newspapers are not going to accept that because I'm losing detail in the bottom right in the top right on the bottom left but you know, I'm allowed tio in my m allowed I'm setting the rules for myself here except my preference is a little bit of vignette ing in some of the pictures maurin others but never to actually lose detail um and then finally in this one I would just, um suffering this a little bit uh and then I would move on so I try not to go crazy with this um you can spend a lot of time obviously and photoshopped doing this sort of stuff so I mean increasing the contrast a little bit blacks I almost always like punch up the blacks said I want the picture tohave depth they get almost shining that way uh this is cooling color but I think I think it would look nicer in black and white and I think it would look nicer like a little bit so everything was a little bit misty there's too much on his face uh all right. Um that's good okay that's right when the wrong thing and then we got okay fine that's like that already had worked on it that was the one that I just pulled back. Okay, okay, so this one this one I really like this is I think one of my favorite two pictures from the day and that's probably because it's probably not the best picture you guys they're about a judge of that than I am some way too close to it, but I enjoyed spending time with brian. I like this I found I found really interesting enjoyed the tot the you know, the chance of the time that we had to spend together. So, um I'm still married to the experience it's definitely a black and white picture to me I don't like the colors and are very nice uh I'm going to burn in the highlights a little bit I'm gonna pull back his there's probably a million people online who is so much better at doing this than I am except um and then I'm just gonna vignette a little and just leave it at that all right? So that's my, um oh yeah and then once I finished that I export the mold is j pegs and filing with the client and that's it you've got well captioned final images that any client whether they work for a magazine, a museum or a family photo album the all the information they need including your name I had a question on when you're crushing the blacks like that you consider newspaper usage to and maybe do one that the blacks aren't so crushed that you're not gonna have a lot of ink block up I probably should, but I don't okay, just curious the printing presses I mean it's a good question the newspapers always have a problem with it, but printing presses have got a lot better on dh. The good photo editors that I've worked with are actually really keenly aware of that when they have photographers that are sending in dark pictures so they so be careful cause you know, like when you're when you're turning a picture that's doctor than usual it's just one or two points, everything falls apart line and then we can go to your question question is when do you choose to go black and white and when do you not do you are you always going back and forth earlier you mentioned that some of the elements and one of the images was already closer monochromatic how do you make that decision? I look at what I think the picture needs like I think I know what you know how is it going to read better like so in that picture was already monochromatic there was very little color anyway so why not just go all the way in terms of black and white I mean really when we're talking about manipulation not adding us attracting elements probably the biggest manipulation we could do the change to a picture is to remove the color right it's one of the weird things in photojournalism like that's okay, I'm going with a castle of black and white but how do I decide is you know, if the pictures are really if the color is really subdued than I will often just go to black and white sometimes and this is most often what informs my decision like a photograph like this brian you know I'm so um I want you to look into his eyes and look at his face and think about what he's thinking about you know, you know that is not old good there's no poppies and like happiness in that when you're looking at that picture in black and white you start examining the emotional content of the picture when you look at the same picture in color no it's back down that weird thing in the ice all right? Um, you look at the same picture in color in just a sec there I don't look at the emotional content so much, I start getting like the color starts taking it away from me. Andi what? I'm really you know, my intention is that you look at him and you start empathizing with him and wondering about him and drawing questions about him when I see people in the street and I build these crazy stories about what their lives must be like when they must have experienced I want you to do that when you look at him showing interest in this human being, you know, and it's, when we're creating photographs that are successful, I think that what we're doing, you know what we're having people ask questions? What? Who is this? I wish I knew more about them. So that's that's my working process on that? How many images do you actually send out for any individual? Story doesn't matter. Does it vary from publication publication? Uh, yeah, uh, like the new york times magazine will look often look at my entire take, uh, which back from the obama shoot was eight thousand pictures um and then there's other magazines like if I'm working on daily news coverage and I'm shooting for a newspaper like seven or eight pictures so it varies would you ever include both a color and a black and white version when you submit and let that be up to an editor this is from kenneth woo yeah, well this is you do and I shouldn't I shouldn't because their little like pep talk I just gave you about like your envision it should be that it should be your vision like did you see it do you see it like like you see it in color but I'm still a slave to the editors and sometimes they'll say like it was great and I'm black and white but I like to see in color and I'll bend um like the whole campaign that I just photographed about refugees in europe all of those photographs are gonna be the new york times you know, next week in the opinion section in black and white they're going to be on the internet in black and white but unicef who my client wass is using the same pictures in color it's really rather that happens but in that case like the one place that they would not give me any space to move was on color versus black and white it was pretty funny was a good man actually was like so clear you were shooting in color um so I've gone through all this like bad caption caption, um, all right, so we went, we hit this don't yeah, that's it just don't add up, subtract any elements to your photographs and your you're you'll be ok as faras journalism goes so that's before that's after before after before after. So the final files at this point after of export of the files, if I was sending these photographs out on a job like let's, say, I had an assignment from the magazine, whatever shooting seattle, I would send them the pictures, um, and then when the pictures had run in the magazine, then I would send the photographs to the people that I promised them, too. But if it's just if understood ng for me, then I would send the people in the picture the pictures now. But you can't show the people who you're photographing the pictures off them until they're being in the newspaper the magazine, because then they can start kicking up a fuss and saying, I don't like this, especially when its an assignment.

Class Description

Street photography requires a unique blend of gumption and skill. Find out how it is done in Street Photography: The Art of Photographing Strangers with VII Photo’s, Ashley Gilbertson. 

Ashley is the creative visionary behind “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot: A Photographer's Chronicle of the Iraq War” and “Bedrooms of the Fallen.” In this class, he’ll will teach you how to get incredible shots using a variety of conventional and unconventional methods. 

You’ll learn about: 
  • Gear, in theory, and practice 
  • How to talk to people and avoid arrest 
  • Formal, aggressive, and subtle ways to approach a subject 
  • Techniques for getting caption information 
You’ll get to watch Ashley at work on the streets of Seattle and experience his process in action. You’ll also learn about the moral and ethical frameworks that influence street photography and what motivates Ashley’s work. 

Street photography gives us powerful insights into the depth and complexity of the human experience. Learn about the process of creating it from one of the discipline’s most talented practitioners in Street Photography: The Art of Photographing Strangers with Ashley Gilbertson.