ABOUT BW/VISION BLACK AND WHITE FINE ART
WHO WE ARE – TAKING BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOGRAPHY TO THE NEXT LEVEL
BW/Vision is the source with the most detailed and elaborate free tutorials on Black and White photography and Long Exposure Photography on the Internet since 2009. Founded by award winning and published photographer , author and educator Joel Tjintjelaar, this website is not just the umpteenth rehashing of popular tips and tricks, or even ideas, you see on so many photography websites: it is aimed at a better understanding of photography as an art form so readers can find their own tips and tricks. It’s the place on the Internet where we try to take black and white photography post processing, long exposure photography and architectural and landscape photography to the next level.
Ambitious words? Not just words. Joel Tjintjelaar already did so on many levels and he’s proud to have initiated a movement in black and white photography post processing and architectural photography that have inspired many photographers to go beyond what was considered to be standard or best practice by introducing an approach to digital black and white and fine art photography that does justice to the technological advancements and scientific insights on one hand and the essence of art on the other hand. Leaving many of his followers and students to be happy about the work they create and even win international awards. And Joel doesn’t stop here, his ultimate goal is never ending progression, evolution and perhaps revolution in fine art photography.
WHAT WE GIVE TO YOU
Our aim is to provide you with the knowledge and the tools to help you create your art and express your vision by providing you with photography tutorials focused on developing practical technical skills, but more importantly also fine art photography tutorials focused on the more abstract artistic thought process behind a photograph.
HOW WE DO THAT – OUR PHILOSOPHY
If you land here on my website then you won’t find black and white photography tutorials that are focused on basic and common knowledge such as ‘shoot raw’, ‘how to use ISO’ and ‘shoot manual’ or ‘create fantastic black and white photographs’ while all they do is provide you with information on how to use all the plugins that help you create fast and good results or use the standard Photoshop B&W conversion sliders. There are many websites that discuss topics like those in tutorials/blogposts that pretend to dive deep below the surface but are mostly just based on an efficient use of SEO keywords and leave you with ‘safe’ knowledge you already know and basically with nothing that makes you think or use in a valuable way.
“this website is also aimed at beginners, besides intermediate and advanced professional photographers. But in a different way.
Nothing wrong with that, but that’s not my philosophy. Despite the fact I won’t discuss common photography knowledge like shoot raw or shoot manual, this website is also aimed at beginners, besides intermediate and advanced professional photographers. But in a different way. Everything I write in my blogposts and tutorials is based on my own experience and my own self developed methods to create my own work. And I will go deep at times, sometimes my posts are a bit more lighthearted but still with an educational component to it. I won’t give you quick ways to create beautiful photos, using a plugin like Silver Efex Pro2 or Topaz, because there aren’t. However, I acknowledge these are great plugins that come in very useful for a lot of people, also for me, giving me a starting point in my workflow, not more than that. Because I believe that any great work of art requires a lot of dedication, patience, self criticism, passion and hard, sometimes boring work.
“Instead of asking yourself, what can my tools create for me, you should ask yourself, what do I want to create, FREELY, without any limitations imposed by the tools you’re using.
My methods for black and white photography processing, for example, aren’t for those of you who want fast and good but uniform results, but they are for all of you who want to understand why black and white post processing should be a process that should be highly individual, tailored to the needs of the individual artist, aimed at isolating and controlling every little detail and every subtle gradation in a black and white photograph. Driven by a personal vision that shouldn’t be limited by a computer algorithm that gives you quick and uniform results. When you aim to create fine art photography, it requires more, far more than that. I will explain why I do what I do, and how I do what I do, without any restrictions. Instead of asking yourself, what can my tools create for me, you should ask yourself, what do I want to create, FREELY, without any limitations imposed by the tools you’re using. Tools like software plugins should help you express your artistic vision, not limit you. Here at BW/Vision we aim to give you the tools, the understanding and the confident knowledge, to create anything you could possibly imagine.
WHO WRITES THE TUTORIALS
The majority of our tutorials have been written by owner and founder of BW/Vision, Joel Tjintjelaar, based on his own experience and knowledge. The black and white method that Joel presents and propagates for example, is different than what’s being taught in general. Joel developed an own method, called iSGM2.0, to achieve the results you will see in his photographs. The main difference is that most methods and plug-ins for B&W conversion involve global changes and depend heavily on the original color information to translate a color to a specific tone. The iSGM2.0 method is about isolating and controlling light and shapes to enable very localized changes and only partly based on the original color information. But largely based on the initial impression the artist had of a given scene and intensities of light.
Joel Tjintjelaar – BWvision.com Owner and Founder, B&W fine art photographer/ educator/ writer.
ABOUT JOEL TJINTJELAAR / OWNER AND FOUNDER BW/VISION
Joel Tjintjelaar is a black and white photographer, author and educator who teaches workshops on black and white and fine art photography, architectural photography and long exposure photography, around the world. Born in Jakarta and moved to the Netherlands as a young boy, Joel calls the world his home, not so much the country he lives in. Having aspired for the more artistic professions like architecture, music and writing from an early age, Joel ended up studying Criminal law and working in the IT for many years to make a living. This, however, could never suppress his needs for creative expression, and photography was his preferred way of meeting those needs. For Joel photography didn’t stop with just clicking the shutter. That was just a necessary part of an approach to photography and art that also encompasses a specific way of black and white post processing in the digital darkroom. He developed his own signature method of post processing that has been adopted by many of his students and followers around the world, to not only create beauty but also communicate emotions. His love for writing is reflected in the many tutorials and essays he wrote on photography and how art can be created with that medium.
Joel is also the co-author with Julia Anna Gospodarou of the 424 pages eBook From Basics to Fine Art – Black and White Photography – architecture and beyond released in 2014.
Here’s just an example of what others say about the book. In this case George DeWolfe:
“Outside of Ansel Adams’ Basic Photo Series, From Basic to Fine Art, by Joel Tjintjelaar and Julia Anna Gospodarou, is the best book on B&W photography written in the last 40 years.”
– George DeWolfe – Fine Art Photographer, Instructor & Writer (Luminous Landscape.com)
Having won various prizes at the International Photography Awards and Sony World Photography Awards, Joel believes that these prizes are merely a confirmation that his work meets aesthetic requirements only, necessary to draw the viewers into his photograph. What is more important in Joel’s view is that a fine art photograph entails the unique visualization and expression of the world through the artist’s eye that evokes an emotion with the viewer. Art in Joel’s eyes is all about communication of the human emotions. He likes to quote painter Mark Rothko saying:
“I’m not an abstractionist. I’m not interested in the relationship of color or form or anything else. I’m interested only in expressing basic human emotions: tragedy, ecstasy, doom, and so on.” .
Joel feels he’s not really a black and white architectural photographer, he’s only trying to use architectural objects as symbols, as universally understood characters of a 3 dimensional language, and black and white and long exposure techniques as a way to move away from reality to prevent from a too literal interpretation of what he’s trying to visualize and ultimately communicate. This, however, requires an acceptance of the inherent limitations of photography that, in the words of Susan Sontag, a painter constructs and a photographer discloses: as a photographer you cannot ignore the dominant position of the captured object from reality that fills the frame. But with his black and white techniques Joel tries to suppress this domination by adding enhanced shadows or highlights, reducing or increasing selective contrasts, using unexpected tonal relationships, to redirect or mislead the eye and hence transforming the captured objective reality to a subjective reality in which the subject matter, human emotions, prevails and the object matter is reduced to a symbol. Joel believes furthermore that we’re just on the threshold of the evolution of photography as an art form. It can evolve but in order to really make substantial progress it’s necessary to, on one hand, accept the limitations that lies in the nature of photography (capturing an object from reality instead of constructing it like painters do), but on the other hand be bold and radical in how you deal with that limitation and that in the end the photographer should not only disclose but also construct, for the sake of communicating emotions.
2014 International Photography Awards (IPA): 1st place winner in Architecture for Professionals– for the winning entry “Visual Acoustics – Silence and Light – Series 2 Bridges”. A series of 2 photographs on bridges in an urban environment based on Louis Kahn’s concepts on the magic of shadows.
2014 International Photography Awards (IPA): Honourable mention in Architecture for Professionals – for the winning entry “Visual Acoustics – Silence and Light – Series 1 Cityscapes”. A series of 5 photographs on cityscapes based on Louis Kahn’s concepts on the magic of shadows.
2013 International Photography Awards (IPA): Honourable mention in Advertisement: Automotive for Professionals– for the winning entry “Classic Cars in Classic B&W Fine Art”. A series of 5 photographs of classic exotic cars against an architectural or landscape setting in B&W, used for a calendar in the automotive industry.
2012 International Photography Awards (IPA): 2nd place winner in Architecture for Professionals – for the winning entry “Shape of Light” . A series of 5 photographs based on Le Corbusier’s quote.
2012 International Photography Awards (IPA): Honourable mention in Architecture for Professionals – for the winning entry “A monochromatic slice of Mondrian: Monodrian” . A series of 5 photographs based on Le Corbusier’s quote.
2011 International Photography Awards (IPA): 1st place winner in Architecture – for the winning entry “Frozen Music” . A series of 5 photographs of Goethe’s Frozen Music concept.
2011 International Photography Awards (IPA): Honourable mention – Fine-art Landscape category for the winning entry “Zenith”.
2011 International Photography Awards (IPA): Honourable mention – Fine-art Landscape category for the winning entry “Dead-End”.
2010 International Photography Awards (IPA): 2nd place in Architecture – Bridges category for the winning entry “Zeeland Bridge Studies” . A series of 5 photographs of the Zeeland Bridge in the Netherlands.
2010 Sony World Photography Awards (SWPA): Shortlisted and finalist in the Landscape category with Bridge Study IV.
2010 Sony World Photography Awards (SWPA): Special commendation in the Architecture category with Connected.