Power of the Black & White Image

Memphis Barbree
Teacher : Memphis Barbree
Category : Beginner, Intermediate
Power of the Black & White Image
  • Duration : 60 days

Course Brief :

While black and white photographs were among the very first photographs taken, they are now a new "frontier" in digital photography. Digital cameras record light differently than film cameras and differently still than the human eye. This black and white online photography course taught by professional photographer and workshop instructor, Memphis Barbree, is designed to help digital photographers see, think and express in light and shadow, black and white.  It will cover how the human eye and the camera record light and how to begin to express yourself in the scale of white, gray and black tones to produce dramatic images that speak your voice.  

In the digital age, we have many options for manipulating our photographs. But a beautiful black and white photograph is more than a color image converted to grayscale with a software mouse click or change of a camera menu. A black and white photograph begins before you squeeze the camera's shutter button.  The art of black and white photography entails the extra step of taking a world we see in color and telling it's story with only shades of white, black and gray. These online photography classes, digital photography course online beginners and their practical hands-on assignments will help you see and capture beautiful monochrome images that speak of the world the way YOU see it.

Upon completion of this online photography course, you will be able to:

  • Visualize scenes and subjects more clearly in black and white, light and shadow
  • Compose photographs in monochrome for greater impact
  • Interpret in monochrome what you see in color
  • Digitally "develop" black and white captures using computer and software


What you will need:

  • A digital SLR, point-and-shoot or mirrorless compact camera or even an iPhone or other smartphone  (Note: If shooting film, you will need a scanner to digitize your images)
  • Lenses - if you have a choice of lens, choose it according to your subject
  • Photo-editing software that can convert digital images from color to grayscale/monochrome
  • Self-motivation to get the most from this instructor-interactive course

Instructor :

Memphis Barbree is an American photographer based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Predominantly a fine art photographer, her preferred medium is black-and-white. Her work shows regularly in group and solo exhibitions around the U.S. She has taught workshops for the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops and regularly mentors private students from around the world.

Her teaching of photography is based in the practice of helping students learn the classic ways of photography to then use them to express their unique artistic voices in the world.  A master black and white digital printer, Memphis crafts each of her prints using processes based on traditional darkroom techniques adapted to current technology and digital tools.

A gardener and landscape designer turned professional photographer, Memphis focuses on creating images that look deeply into the nature of life, the life of nature, and express the spirit, mystery and form of the world around her. Years of living primitively in the mountains of New Mexico and studies in the eastern spiritual practices have combined to deepen and make unique her connection with life in all its unique expressions.

Memphis is in the process of turning her lens in the direction of environmental concerns and will be soon releasing new bodies of fine art and documentary work based on the U.S. Gulf of Mexico coastline in the aftermath of that area's Summer of 2010 British Petroleum oil catastrophe.

See more of Memphis's work on her personal website.

Reviews :

I've taken online courses before from TCI's competition, but this is the first school I've found to be truly interactive. Memphis's lesson were clear and enjoyable to read. Her photographic examples were stunning and the critiques she gave to my assignment uploads were generously written, honest and most of all, constructive. Thanks Memphis. And for anyone passionately pursuing black and white photography like myself, this is the e-learning course to take. Best all around!

- By Larry Felton

Thanks Memphis for a wonderful online course! I hadn't photographed much in black and white before taking this course. The well-written and wonderfully illustrated lessons - not to mention the quick and supportive feedback and advice - have given a whole new photography medium to enjoy. I recommend this course highly for any photographer who wants to create and communicate in monochrome.

- By Elizabeth Beall

I just finished this course and I found it absolutely terrific.  It was an eye opener in many ways, the lessons were clear, the assignments interesting and relevant, and Memphis's comments and insights really valuable.  I not only learned a lot about black and white photography, but also gained valauble knowledge about photography in general.  Truly inspiring.  Thank you Memphis!

- By Antoinette Addison

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