Creative Black & White Photography takes you step by step through the thought processes and technical procedures involved in producing a high-quality print. Les McLean starts by explaining the technicalities of black-and-white photography - and, more importantly, how to overcome the technical limitations of cameras and film. Metering systems, film acutance and grain, simple tests and tricks of the trade that will allow you to achieve the image you want: all are explained simply and clearly, and backed up by specially commissioned photographs. Visualization comes next: the best black-and-white prints are those in which the photographer has thought from the outset about the effect that he or she wants to create and about how to achieve that effect in the darkroom. Renowned both as a photographer and as a fine photographic printer, Les McLean is uniquely qualified to emphasize the importance of this link.
Chapters 3 and 4 cover developing and printing processes - again with the emphasis being on understanding your materials so that you can select the film, developer and paper combinations that will match your photographic vision. In Chapter 5, Case Studies, McLean looks at some of his all-time favourite photographs and explains from start to finish how he created them - the mood and effect that he wanted, the technicalities of taking the shots, and how each image was printed and manipulated in the darkroom. Finally a chapter on digital black and white, explaining how to combine silver halide and digital to best effect and the pros and cons of digital printing, brings the subject right up to date.