Expressive Digital Landscape in Black and White with Carlan Tapp

Landscape photography is formed by the point of view of the photographer; it is a spiritual experience, the reflection of a culture. Historically, the great masters of black-and-white landscape used large-format cameras and traditional film processes. Now advances in digital technology have opened new opportunities for photographers who wish to explore the aesthetic and technical aspects of digital black-and-white landscapes.

On location daily, we take the time to see and fully express the spirit of the black-and-white landscape as we discover a place and the secrets of its beauty. We consider the concept of landscape and how it is connected to the cultural, social, and geographical aspects of our environment.

In the classroom, we combine traditional Zone System methodology with new digital processes in Adobe Lightroom to forge a complete digital grayscale workflow. In the electronic darkroom we combine traditional and new electronic processes with the aesthetic and technical considerations necessary for image creation. Working on the images we created in the field, Carlan covers topics including: calibrating the grayscale digital system; converting RGB digital images into black and white; contrast masking; sharpening; digital “dodging and burning”; and final print output. We learn to express our personal interpretations of the landscape when creating the black-and-white fine print. Blending traditional, new, and emerging techniques and technologies, we discover the extraordinary possibilities of expressive digital black-and-white landscape work.

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