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 http://www.bwvision.com/ 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.

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 affinity.serif.com/ipad-update. Existing users should claim the free update by following the prompts in the app.

The bonus content can be downloaded from affinity.serif.com/ipad-update.

How to Edit Black and White Images with Luminosity Masks

Color preparation is the most important thing when working on a Black & White conversion. If you use photoshop or any good image editing software, the first thing you see is a window with color sliders. If you want to darken a sky, increase the blues, if you want to whiten foliage, work on the yellows, reds and greens. You will see drastic changes in your image tonality. But sometimes, you want to work on specific color zones of the image, this is when masking comes into place. Luminosity masking is without a doubt the best way to precisely target colors. In this movie by Greg Benz, the creator of Lumenzia luminosity masking panel, you will see how he targets specific zones and works on the mood of an image.

Lumenzia by Greg Benz

One of the best luminosity masking panels for Photoshop. Visit the website and learn more about this great tool for both Black & White and Color images.

Skylum creates a new Influencer Team of Brand Ambassadors

Skylum Softwarehas added four experienced and influential photographers to its influencer team. Joining the new group are Matthew Jordan Smith, Dixie Dixon, Jerry Ghionis and Joel Grimes. All four are widely-respected, professionals who will help the company refine its software to benefit photographers and help educate users on how to make better photos.

Dixie Dixon

She has spent the last decade bringing creative visions to life and educating others about the latest cutting-edge photography techniques and technology. She has followed her passion around the world, shooting in locations such as such as Cannes, Toronto, Vancouver, New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Brazil, Ibiza and Barcelona. Most recently, she released her new book “Fashion and Lifestyle Photography.”

Joel Grimes

He began working as a commercial advertising photographer, capturing the attention from many of the nation’s finest advertising agencies and art buyers. Due to his strong fine art background, Joel strongly believes in creating images that go beyond the normal commercial application. Joel’s assignments have taken him to every continent and to over fifty countries across the globe.

Jerry Ghionis

Widely regarded as one of the top five best wedding photographers in the world, Jerry Ghionis is based in Las Vegas, USA and Melbourne, Australia and travels frequently on international photography assignments and speaking engagements. With the flair of a fashion designer and the ingenuity of an architect, his style can be described where vintage glamour meets contemporary fashion. Renowned for his creativity, he not only has the ability to capture natural magic on your wedding day but he creates magic of his own.

Matthew Jordan Smith 

launched his career as a photographer in New York City shooting for major magazines and advertising agencies. He has photographed some of the most famous people in the world. He is best known for his portraits of celebrities, actors, and models. His celebrity clients include Angela Bassett, Tyra Banks, Queen Latifah, Aretha Franklin and many more.

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