10th January 2022 – David Garthwaite “Fine Art : A Workflow”

Last Monday (January 10th. 2022) we were pleased to host a new guest speaker David Garthwaite, with his talk – “Fine Art : A Workflow”. This was an outstanding presentation and was a great start to our 2022 programme. Not only did we see some outstanding B&W Minimalistic Architectural Images but also a live demonstration of a Photoshop Workflow culminating in the creation of a typical image.

David’s Photographic Journey – started under 5 years ago, he was eventually drawn to the work of Michael Kenna with his fine art B&W minimalistic photography. It’s the Architectural B&W minimalistic studies that David has moved toward and he has been perfecting these and the workflow used to create them over the last 3 years or so.

Typical David Garthwaite Images – David moved to the more formal part of his presentation and took us through a small selection of his own and favourite Architectural studies – this was to “wet” our appetites for what we were to see and create later in the presentation.

Planning – Next we had a detailed explanation as to how David plans, catalogues and executes an actual shoot looking for the best composition to achieve a minimalistic view of single subjects.

A Live Photoshop Edit – Then we moved to the core of his presentation a “live” edit of an image from camera to a finished B&W Fine Art Picture of the Broadcasting Tower (Leeds).
David explained that his Workflow can be broken down into 3 main stages – stages 1 and 2 he prepares the colour image and stage 3 performs the “magic” process to finally create the B&W minimalistic version.

Stage 1 – Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) – was demonstrated to fix horizontals and verticals. The Basic ACR panel to improve the Highlights, Shadows and the overall balance of the image. Moving into Photoshop to clean up the image removing any clutter and marks using the patch, spot healing brush and clone stamp tools. Staying in Photoshop to use selections to selectively edit and balance the sections of the image and with clever use of the crop and rectangular marquee tool to centralise and balance the whole image.

Stage 2 – Predominately Selections and taking localised portions for edits. Starting with the sky, lots of options discussed here, including Photoshop’s own Sky replacement tool or the colour range option, the selection is named and saved for later use. The building is carefully divided into its 4 faces and each selection is named and saved. A further more complex selection is made of the series of vertical groves that run up the building. These groves need to be protected from being subjected to the edits of the faces (else the groves would blend into the panels and not be seen). Luminosity Masks were chosen for this selection and filed.

Stage 3 – Dodging and Burning and replacing the sky using the previously saved Selections. The new sky is carefully placed ensuring that the light is in the correct location (and enhanced) and blends well. Dodging and burning is performed to the building. The technique uses the previously filed selections, photoshop gradients and a 3-layer process to enhance the highlights and shadows giving the effect required. The final touch is to bring detail back into some of the shaded areas and apply a vignette to help guide the viewer’s eye.

Summary – David started his photographic journey in 2017 and what a journey he has had. His website is quite stunning and his B&W work Architectural work is probably second to none. His website contains numerous accolades and awards he has achieved, Paris, Tokyo First place Gold, distinctions and the list goes on….and on. You can’t fail to be impressed by this 5-year journey and Monday’s presentation didn’t disappoint ….

For more details of David’s work please see his website at – http://www.dgshot.uk

Leave a Reply