Confessions of a Histogram Slammer

Where: Venice Beach, CA



Between Meeting: On the Way to the Airport




2Venice Beach is only a few miles from LAX (LA’s main airport) and is one of my favorite places for photography.  I often leave for the airport an hour earlier so I can have that extra hour to photograph the myriad of subjects at this unique location.



I love Black and White.  I’m classically trained in the Zone System.  And with the greatest of respect for my friend John Sexton, who is one of the finest Black and White artists on the planet,  I have evolved into a full-fledged, Histogram Slammer.   With encouragement from Greg Gorman, I now carefully and deliberately clip shadow detail if it will lead to a more impactful photograph.   I did a class recently for Kelby Training on The Art of the Black and White Print with Josh Haftel of Nik Software where we discussed the benefits of a full tonal scale, and when its OK to purposely lose shadow detail.



With a high shutter speed I was able to capture the water beading from the outdoor sand removal shower and by exposing for the highlights, I purposely let the shadows block-up for maximum impact.  A simple conversion with Silver Efex Pro 2 also allowed me to do controlled burning of the highlights in the upper right corner.



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