The Art of Black & White Editing

A great new processing course by Aaron Dowling

The Art of Black & White Editing is a brand new video workshop from ADP Pro. Over the past 8 months we have had the concept for a video workshop on B&W editing in mind. Over the past month we’ve combined all of our thoughts on what makes a great B&W, and have put all of that together into this brand new video workshop.


The workshop has 5 hours of HD video, covering:

  • What makes a great Black & White image. We look at the elements of great B&W images and look at the work of a few great photographers and attempt to break them down.
  • We show many techniques to convert your images to monochrome, including: Camera Raw / Lightroom, adjustment layers in Photoshop, and plugins.
  • We discuss when to convert your images to Black and White & Why, making sure we get the cleanest and best results.
  • Then we combine all of that into 4 full image edits, where we apply those techniques and much more.

We use many tools throughout the editing process to achieve our final results. Luminosity Masks are used during the edits, but are only 1 tool in the workflow. Regardless of what tools or products you use to create luminosity masks this workshop is still relevant. Even if you don’t use them at all, you will still get a great deal from this workshop.

Included in your purchase is:

  • 13 HD Videos (5 hours), download or watch online.
  • 5 image files used in the workshop.

If you’ve always wanted to create high impact black and white images and wanted to know the tricks photographers use to create their stunning images, this is the workshop for you.

You can find all the details here:

B&W Artisan Pro by Joel Tjintjelaar


Joel Tjintjellaar is one of the best Black & White fine Art photographers today. Over the years, he built a solid reputation both as an artist and a post-processing master. The Photoshop panel he offers today lives up to his reputation. The name of his panel, B&W Artisan says it all. Being an Artisan means that you build something with care, professionalism and efficiency. These are exactly the qualities of this panel.

Here is only a teaser and you will find a complete review in the next edition of Shades of Grey Fine art Photography magazine.

B&W Artisan Pro is the successor of the older B&W Fine Art Quick Adjustments panel, with an entirely new design that takes the best of the old panel and combines it with a new and innovative approach towards digital B&W editing that is aimed at making B&W editing less technical and more intuitive and artistic. At the same time the name has changed for a more suitable name.Its goal is to effectively translate your personal artistic vision to a B&W image, with just a minimum of Photoshop knowledge and experience. No more steep learning curves and years of practice are needed to create sophisticated B&W images for which normally advanced knowledge of technically correct B&W processing techniques and knowledge of Photoshop were needed.

B&W Artisan Pro is a panel that uses Photoshop as a ‘host’ to introduce new features, through easy to use presets, that aren’t readily available in Photoshop. Each preset triggers a specific sequence of combined advanced PS features and also ‘hidden’ PS features, that sometimes consists of more than hundred different steps, in a way that reflects Joel Tjintjelaar’s signature style, craftsmanship and knowledge to render a non-destructive and artistic result. This new panel doesn’t use the basic PS tools like dodging and burning, curves, levels or Photoshop’s built-in B&W conversion and adjustment features to adjust grey tones and alter contrasts, but a new and advanced way of linear adjustments that directly affects the luminance value of a tone, with a high degree of control imposed by the presets. The linear adjustments are accurate, predictable and proportionate. And they do that, either within the entire canvas or within an area, roughly or, if the artists desires to do so, precisely, indicated by the artist and depending on what the artist wants.

The use of luminosity masks play an important role in how the new panel operates, but the user doesn’t need to know how   to create luminosity masks, how to correctly use them and how to correctly evaluate them. The latter is something even  many advanced Photoshop users don’t do, and usually skip that part, while in my approach, the correct evaluation of luminosity masks plays the most important part. The presets create, evaluate and apply the luminosity masks automatically behind the scenes when they’re triggered.

Visit for more info and get the panel.

Ahmed Thabet. Some of his latest projects.

I have a lot of series but my series to ( Seri Wawasan bridge in Putrajaya city in Malaysia ) which I named it ( Heart of steel ) due to my abstract approach which focused in all shots on the heart of the structure, is the closest to my heart.

I did it over 2 years in 2 different visits to Malaysia, on the first visit I came across the bridge by accident, i was stunned by it is futuristic asymmetric cable-stayed design, the lines and shapes were magic, I grabbed my camera, started to shoot euphorically, I got so many shots all of then were snap-shots but the most upsetting thing which might happen to photographer had happened to me, i did not take few steps more to cross the road and photograph the most sophisticated and beautiful part of the bridge, I was very upset, but i have decided to go back all the way to finish the job next year, I did it, I took long exposure as well, I was very calm and focused with very sharp vision which based on my medical background as well ( It looks like human anatomy), by this way this is the series which has won the first place in the International photographer of the year 2017 in architecture-bridges. And the one I named DNA has won the second place, abstract category in the international monochrome award.

The second series I focused on London city bridges architecture, I captured three of them, ( London bridge, tower bridge, and millennium bridge) all of them very long exposure, and I processed them as a black and white version to make the scenes as serene as possible.


Here are some  questions from the interview he gave us for Shades of Grey Magazine N°6. Get the magazine to read the full interview and watch a 24 pages portfolio.



How and when did you start photography?How and when did you start photography?

It is a very interesting story. I started 4 years ago, my profession is doctor and my specialty is neonatology; one of the most stressful specialty in medicine.5 years ago i complained to one of my senior colleagues about this kind of sedentary life which we had been through since graduation from medical school, which really ruined our pleasure and spoils our social life, then he gave me the most valuable piece of advice i had ever got … photography.I bought my first DSLR. It was a Nikon D3200 and I started shooting everything, holding it in my hand everywhere, even in the hospital, then one of the best parts of my life started.

What led you to architecture and cityscape photography?

I was born in Cairo, one of the densest populated city around the world. So my love of urban exploration and architecture either modern or ancient started from the very beginning, long before photography. One year after I started photography, I discovered the work of Joel Tjintjelaar and Julia Anna Gospodarou, I read their book “From basics to fine art” which I always would like to name “the holy book of black and white photography». It was a turning point to me, honestly i had my own vision but they added to me the art of black and white.
How do you select your location? I first look at google maps to examine the places and single out the best vintage points. It really saves a lot of time. Secondly, I do one visit without the camera, walk around checking the streets, street lights, traffic lights, interesting angles, beautiful buildings, even pipes and ventilations sometimes really would help.  I am always looking for abstract views and some kind of minimalism.

How do you prepare for a shoot?

First, I check the weather forecast it is very crucial. Second, I am looking for the best lighting condition, it is most of the time the golden hour and overcast winter time with gentle diffused light.Then, I check the opening times of the buildings and verify of any permission needed.

What kind of equipment’s you use ?

I have 4 camera bodies Nikon d 3200, Nikon 1 j2, Nikon d 7100, Nikon d 610 ) Lenses!  sigma 10/20, sigma 24/70, Opteka fisheye 6.5, Nikkor 55/200, Nikkor 105. Filters ( Hitech 10 stops, Hitech 3 stops ) , ( Lee ND filters )

Follow Ahmed Thabet.

Street Photography: A hot debate

Street photography in Pakistan is relatively new. A traditional society where laws/ guidelines are yet to be defined clearly in most of the situations, many people believe this art is against the dictates of their religion, law and order not ideal in some situations;  there is no wonder that few pursue this genre seriously.
by Aamir Shahzad

This emerging genre of photography has faced blazing criticism, occasional legal and ethical backlashes, besides stirring debates on public television and social media. Most street photography operates on the borderline between intrusion and observation. Even more problematic is the tradition of clandestine photography. Is street photography, an intrusion on someone’s personal space; that is the question? Can anyone claim privacy in a public space? Laws vary in different countries. There is a need to be aware of laws for those interested in documentary photography involving images shot on public places. Photography, as always, has lot of grey areas, where ethical concerns are involved. Is any image of human misery and poverty an insult to human dignity? Should we present only a happy face of society? An old man dragging a heavy load, a rag picker boy sifting through trash; do these pictures attempt to exploit human misery for self-promotion? Is showing social hypocrisy in a photograph is a breach of social rights? Art should not be judgmental, but it is often perceived that way. Sometimes it is the viewers who interpret an image through the haze of their own understanding and that their redemption is to put the ‘blame on the boogie’—the artist. Naked children sitting on the trash, addicts lying on the pavements, or a physically disabled persons begging around the market are reality of our lives as much as hunger and war. It is not something to be pushed under the carpet and pretend that if it does not exist in images, it does not exist at all. Famous street photographer Eric Kim says, ‘as a photographer, I see myself as a sociologist with a camera as my research tool to observe and record the people and world around me’. It reminds me of Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist, Stanley Forman and his shot ‘The soiling of old glory’. The picture stirred great emotions when it was posted. A censor on such art would seriously hamper the growth of artistic expression and its potential to create a tolerant and enlightened society. Umair Ghani, a famous Pakistani photographer once commented on one of my street images, ‘Commerce and Art play a tug of war with Faith and provoke greater conflicts and challenges for those who consciously focus on such concerns. These trends affect everyday life and our understanding of it. Some societies have learnt to sustain that shock; others are too fragile to come to terms with this recent awareness’. An elderly bearded owner of a boutique, trying to cover his face to avoid the offence of being photographed while standing with mannequins wearing sleeveless low neck dress is a social satire on our confused moral and religious criteria. Images of women covered in shuttlecock veils shopping in posh markets with explicit advertising contents show challenges presented to prevailing cultural trends in our society. Such images do not stab our cultural façade, but helps us document our bleeding wounds of social confusion and to some extent stitch and heal them. This is serious level of street photography. It is above ridicule or criticism; It is a commentary and interpretation. Furthermore, street photography is a contested sphere in which all our collective anxieties converge. terrorism, pedophilia, intrusion and surveillance. Even an attempt to capture the culture of marginalized sections of society is seen by some as a potential threat to ideology of Pakistan with a threat of creating fissures in society. The photography codes of ethics from the US National Press Photographers Association have some solid points and guidelines. Now is the time to address this pressing need to discuss and review those points within our own legal and cultural parameters’
“Can anyone claim privacy in a public space? Laws vary in different countries.”


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Affinity Photo for iPad got strong improvements

Apple’s reigning ‘App of the Year’, Affinity Photo for iPad, now includes even more powerful professional features.

Developer Serif has issued the third substantial free update to the app since June when Affinity Photo for iPad was launched on stage at WWDC2017. To celebrate, for a limited time, buyers can also claim three bonus content packs made specially to harness the creativity of the app on iOS.  Designed to be the first complete, professional photo editing app for iPad, Affinity Photo was selected as the 2017 ‘App of the Year’ by Apple, as well as featuring in countless ‘best of’ end-of-year lists. The latest version, 1.6.7, includes a raft of enhancements which make it even more capable of handling a full professional workflow on the go:

New Features

  • Save overwrites back to the same location, without needing to create a copy
  • Shoot direct in RAW or HDR from within the app
  • Major upgrades for RAW processing including adjusting shadows, highlights and clarity on RAW images
  • Ability to add your own fonts
  • Opening and editing files in place directly from the iOS Files app
  • A new ‘Solo Layer View’ mode, allowing you to isolate individual layers instantly
  • Further enhancements to the handy Drag & Drop functions introduced with iOS11
  • A new ‘Show Touches’ option to create more detailed screen captures – great for users who create tutorials
Serif Managing Director Ashley Hewson says: “These latest additions will make working life simpler than ever for photographers who have embraced Affinity Photo and the iPad as the core of their professional workflow.

“Affinity Photo was created to take full advantage of the amazing technology the latest iPads offer, and our developers continue to work tirelessly to cement its reputation as the benchmark for creative apps on iOS.”

Ashley Hewson adds: “Improved RAW editing and the added convenience of using Files and Drag & Drop are further steps forward. And we’re delighted to see so many users are already publishing their own tutorials, so the ‘show touches’ screen-recording capability is really big news for them.
“Meanwhile Solo Layer View means you can instantly isolate a particular layer to work on, even in the most complex multi-layered documents. It all adds up to a faster, smoother workflow than ever, to take wherever you go.”

To celebrate the latest update, for two weeks Affinity Photo for iPad is being offered with two free brush packs and a macro pack, together worth almost as much as the app itself (offer ends 8 March).

They are:

  • Luminance Brush Pack (value £9.99 / $9.99): A vibrant collection of 13 breath taking light effect brushes
  • Retouch Brush Pack (value £9.99 / $9.99): 20 studio quality retouch brushes for enhancing portraits
  • Live Filters Macro Pack: Harness the full power of 28 non-destructive live filter layers

Affinity Photo for iPad is priced £19.99 / US$19.99 / 21,99€ (subject to regional currency variations) with no subscription from the App Store.

Affinity Photo for iPad is compatible with the iPad Pro 9.7-inch, 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch

, iPad Air 2, iPad 2017, and optimised for Apple Pencil. For more information go to Existing users should claim the free update by following the prompts in the app.

The bonus content can be downloaded from

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