Contrast Grading Workshop

The Workshop is designed to give you a greater understanding of Digital conversion to Black and White from a colour generated Digital Raw File.
When you take a photograph in Raw with a Digital Camera the end result is always a colour file, to turn that colour file in to Black and White the colour has to be removed or converted to monochrome.

There are numerous methods of how to do this using different conversion techniques; however you need to understand the ingredients that go into making a great Black and White picture rather than simply desiderating a colour file.

In the Workshop I will show how to use and mix the ingredients and apply them to your conversion workflow using a simple method called CONTRAST GRADING that is brought from my years of experience in the Wet Darkroom.

I will show you how to adjust contrast, texture and tonal range that gives you precise control of selected areas and build the image slowly; I will also show you how to place tones and texture to give Mood often missing in pictures from Digital Capture.

My Contrast Grading workshops is a half day tuition (4 hour maximum), this gives ample time to start you on the road to great images and prints.

The Workshop
Starts with us choosing one of your own Raw files or I can provided them, we will look and choose a file that is suitable for conversion, I will also explain what we are looking for in a picture that would make a good Black and White image plus an explanation and demonstration of why it’s best to expose to the right on the Histogram when taking a picture.

We will then go on the computer and start the conversion process; I will take you through two methods of Contrast Grading and also show you how good Adobe Camera Raw is for Contrast Grading, balance and textural control.

I will show you various Photoshop Plugins that also can be mixed into the Contrast Grading workflow; (it is not a necessity to use any Plugins to Contrast Grade) however it will show you how they can become part of your workflow tools if and when needed.

The last part of the Workshop is to print out the conversion on either a Matt or Baryta Fine Art Paper for you take home.

Just in case you forget certain aspects of the Workshop I will provide you with my Contrast Grading 2nd edition DVD video tutorial. (that's assuming you don’t already have it)

The cost of the Half day workshop is £130.00
I will provide Hot or cold drinks during the workshop, food is not provided.

Go to the bottom of this page to Book a Half Day Workshop


"Firstly a BIG thank you to martin who was a perfect host today, i learnt so much....
So if you've not guessed i attended a workshop with Martin today & what a great day. this guy knows to much!! to take in, in one sitting but i'll be back for sure.
If you would like to improve your understanding of what's really possible & in a very practical way then get yourself booked in with Martin.
well thanks again Martin, i'll post our edit so people can see that even with my image you turned out something very good indeed."

Andy Mc
Andy McDonald
Just spent a day on one of Martin Henson's One-to-One Workshops and had a wonderful time. The day started with us driving into the Yorkshire Dales looking for suitable locations. Although the weather wasn't brilliant Martin's enthusiasm is infectious and we were soon jumping out of the car at every opportunity to set up the tripod and camera, with Martin explaining what to look for in terms of lighting and if necessary what settings to use on the camera.
It was then back to his 'Digital Darkroom' where we went through in great detail how to go from a Raw File to a wonderful monochrome print. I'm sure I won't remember all he told me but at least now I have a good understanding of how to use the various tools and what to look out for.
If you are serious about improving your monochrome work then this Workshop is a must for you."
Once again Martin thanks for a wonderful day out. Now I must try and put in to practise what I've learnt.

Last week I was so fortunate to be able to visit Martin in Leeds and spend a lovely (albeit rainy) one-on-one day in the Yorkshire Dales.
What can I say ?
It's a real treat to see the man work !
As a photographer; "Chasing the light"
It all seems to come natural to him; composition, technique, catching the right moment; he doesn't seem to think about it, it all appears to function just by intuition !
As a painter; "Enhancing the light"
Behind the computer screen he becomes a painter, this is amazing to see; using brushes certain areas of the image develop their own appearance..
At the end the overall look is a perfect monochrome image, you wouldn't believe it when you first saw the RAW file !
Printing the final result; "The final goal, recorded light for display"
Like a surgeon every detail of the image is carefully evaluated and fine tuned till the result suits his expectations, not one single clogged-up black will remain..
This may sound like I've seen some untouchable magician at work but on the contrary ! The bottom line is this;
He's a very kind and "down to earth" man and the techniques used are actually very simple, totally different from what I used until now !
It's my goal now to practise these techniques and hopefully bring my monochrome photography to a higher level; all ingredients are there thanks to this one day course I took.
By the way; I stayed the whole week in the Dales, incredible landscape, fully recommend a visit to this region too !!!
I know I'm very fortunate to be able to do have done this one-on-one, but I really want to respectfully point out to you all; If you can find the means this is a great way to invest your money (even better than buying yet another lens or so!),

(and to Martin, thanks again !!!)
Leon Leijdekkers
Enschede, The Netherlands
I have had a wonderful day today when I met up with Martin for one of his workshops. A nicer person you could not meet.
I arrived early, 07:30 and he was already waiting to start the day. Covering everything from the taking stage to the printing was a real eye opener for me. Nothing was to much for him I have learnt so much I hope I am soon putting it into practice.
For me Martin dispelled all the 'mystery' of achieving those fabulous mono photographs we see and admire so much.
I can only echo the comments of those others fortunate enough to have spent the day on the workshop.
Thank you Martin for a fabulous day.
I have just returned home after a one-day workshop with Martin. What a fantastic, inspirational, and thoroughly enjoyable day. I simply cannot recommend Martin's workshops too highly. I arrived at 8am and left at 6.30pm with two fabulous A3 prints destined for my study walls at home. Martin conveys so much information in an accessible way, provides all the info in print to take home, and as has been said by others, he manages to demystify the process of b/w conversion and show how simple principles can be applied to achieve stunning results.
I've just looked at some of the previous posts, and Leon has likened Martin to a surgeon, looking at every detail of the image as he enhances the original capture and uses his skill and artistry to create the final image. What a good analogy. No detail is too small to escape Martin's attention, and the results speak for themselves.
Thank you again, Martin.

Had enormous good luck to spend a workshop day with Martin at beginning of August , this past summer, when visiting my mum on holiday. Was one of the high spots of my hols!
After admiring his work for so long, WOW.. what a day.. especially as I am very much at the learning stage in my photography.
I was all light headed at the end of it.... Martin will no doubt laugh if he remembers..
I HIGHLY recommend the day workshop to everybody if you haven’t already done it yourself, go ahead! Its just amazing..!
Will stop there for now, just say, I hope to gain more knowledge and expertise with you all as time goes on..

Hi Martin, I just wanted to extend my sincere thanks to yourself for such an outstanding and enjoyable day on Saturday 28th February 2009. For anyone who is serious about monochrome, Martin's 1 to 1 workshops are an absolute must. For me Martin's sheer love and passion for black & white was obvious from the start, and this fact alone was, and is, a great stimulus and incentive to achieve the stunning results displayed on his website. I could well be back for round 2.

Copyright Phil Hunter

The above image is the one we worked on and printed, and believe me it looks stunning printed on fine art paper.

Hi Martin,
Just wanted to drop you a line to say how much I enjoyed last Tuesday,
it was certainly enlightening, and has seriously re-ignited by passion
for photography. I never believed I could produce such a spectacular black and white image !

Dear Martin
Thank you for an inspiring day last Friday.
"If you want your work in B&W to have greater impact, a day with Martin is time and effort very well spent. You learn on the job from capture to the digital darkroom and then to printing. Passionate about his craft, he is also great companion. You will return wiser and inspired!"

Meant every word of it.

Best wishes
Jim Gollan
Thanks Martin for your one day workshop, specializing in the black and white contrast grading method. I found the workflow and techniques for contrast grading very intuitive. I particularly liked the fact that a specific area of an image can be developed in black and white, step by step and area by area. The system allows for flexibility and can slowly be built up to create a beautiful image. It was also very useful to start at the RAW files stage and go right through to the printed photograph, the complete workflow.
It was also very helpful to see finished images on your walls, which gave me inspiration. Last but not least, I found you’re relaxed but grounded approach and openness to chat made the day enjoyable too!

Martin, thank you for the excellent tutorial last weekend; It is by far the best workshop I have ever attended and I have been on many, also it was great value for money. Your knowledge and natural instinct for photography is boundless. To top it all you live in a wonderful part of the country so we made the most of it and stayed the weekend in Ilkley. You have added another dimension to my photography.

Thank you Josie
Considering I am fairly well versed when it comes to print making I was a little sceptical when I decided to book a one to one with Martin, firstly did I really need it and secondly would I learn anything from it.
I arrived at Martins front door at 0845 and had a mug of coffee in my hand before I even got my coat off such is the hospitality of this Yorkshire Guru. On entering Martins workroom I was greeted by rows of stunning black and white framed images and knew then that this was going to be a good day. Was I right to be sceptical NO of course not. Did I learn anything, an astounding YES. Being a Pensioner workshops are something of a luxury for me but I have no regrets about this one, even if I had not learned anything, just listening to this man talk and enthuse about photography and sharing his secrets for nearly nine hours would alone have been well worth the visit.
If you are a bit sceptical like I was, forget it, just sign up you will not regret it and learn so much from this wizard of the Digital Print.

Thanks Martin
I've just spent a great day on Martin's editing workshop.Being new to digital,I was apprehensive about whether I would be able to learn anything at all.
Martin soon put me at ease and the day went by far too quickly.The next day a few things weren't quite clear to me so I emailed Martin and that evening we were chatting away on the phone and he was determined I got to grips with the problem.[which I did]Nothing was too much trouble.Many thanks to a perfect gent and great tutor.If you're thinking about doing a course, think no longer; just do it.
thanks again Martin.

Martin I would just like to say many, many thanks for a great day (July 2010). Your enthusiasm, knowledge and techniques were an inspiration and a revelation. The website doesn't do justice to the quality and detail that are present in your images. And to anyone who wants to learn more about monochrome - Martin's workshops should be top of your list of things to do!
Hi Martin
Thanks for a great day on Saturday. I really enjoyed the day and the 2 prints we produced will look great on the wall.
I learned a lot and hope to retain some of your expert knowlege, but the DVD will remind me of the bits I will no doubt forget.
Thanks again Martin. You are the master ! - and I'm off to practice.

Jim Haydock.

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