Dramatic Black & White Masterclass


Learn the essential knowledge to compose, edit, and print incredible black and white images like a pro.

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This course is for you if…

You’ve seen photos you love and can’t get the same look in your own work.

You rely on the saturation and contrast sliders to create black & white images.

You struggle to create consistently dramatic-looking black & white images.

Create striking images with rich contrast and tonality.

What you'll learn

Master the art of black and white photography with this comprehensive course.

This masterclass covers everything you need to know to create dramatic, dynamic, and engaging black and white photographs. I’ll introduce you to new ways of thinking about black and white photography that will improve your work dramatically. 

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Imagine you could…

Take control of your black & white edits like a pro. Create the dynamic and artistic black & white images you aspire to and understand all the factors involved in creating consistently amazing images.

Hear What Photographers Have to Say…

“August’s depth of understanding is phenomenal! So lucky to have found this information.”


“I learned how to ‘see’ in black and white. Thank you so much for this valuable information.”


“So many amazing tools and techniques – I can’t wait to start shooting intentionally for black and white.”


“We’re going to take a deep dive into the world of black and white photography and learn how to take monochrome photos like a pro. We’ll learn about the concept of previsualization and the differences in shooting for color and shooting for black and white. We’ll achieve dramatic levels of contrast with professional results and we’ll learn how to dodge and burn like the masters.”

– August Dering

Dramatic Black & White Masterclass


Learn the essential knowledge to compose, edit, and print incredible black and white images like a pro.

Buy Now


7h 5m




Stream or Download




Get an overview of the way the course is designed. I introduce my three-stage system for black and white conversion, which is designed to make it as easy and uncomplicated as possible while still m...

Taking Better Black & White Photos


Intentional B&W

In this lesson, I’ll explain the differences between shooting for color and shooting for black and white, and introduce the concept of previsualization, which can dramatically improve your ap...


The Tonal Scale and the Zone System

Learn about the tonal scale and what lessons can be learned from Ansel Adams’s Zone System in a modern digital workflow.


Seeing the Possible

Working in black and white opens up new possibilities versus working in color. Learn how to see what’s possible with black and white tonality and contrast and apply that knowledge to improve ...


Three Stage Intro

There are many ways to convert a color photo into black and white. I’ve designed a three-stage system to make the process as simple and easy as possible depending on the complexity of any giv...

Stage One


Stage One

Learn the quickest and easiest ways to convert a color photo into black and white using Stage One global adjustments in Capture One Pro and Adobe Camera Raw, which is included with Adobe Photoshop.

Stage Two


Stage Two, Capture One

Stage Two is for images requiring more complex local adjustments. Learn how to adjust specific parts of your photos in Capture One Pro.


Stage Two, Adobe Camera Raw

Learn how to perform complex local adjustments in Adobe Camera Raw. 


Getting the Most From Your Sensor

Before diving into Stage Three adjustments, learn some important information about bit depth and noise to get the absolute best image quality from your sensor in a variety of challenging situations.


Testing Your Sensor

Follow along as I introduce some easy tests you can do at home to get a good understanding of how your exact sensor performs when pushed to the limits of exposure and contrast. This knowledge can b...


Computer Bit Depth

I’ll explain the important differences between the bit depth of your camera and the bit depth of image files like JPEG, TIF, and PSD, and I’ll discuss which formats to use and why.


Photoshop Setup

Learn how to set up your workspace to work quickly and efficiently. I’ll teach you how to optimize your computer, window arrangement, how to keep all the most needed tools easily accessible, ...

Stage Three, Part One



I introduce my workflow to achieve the highest level of control and precision for images requiring the most complex adjustments in Photoshop. This section covers precise masking between subject and...


Background Contrast

Learn how to add dramatic and highly controlled amounts of contrast to the background using the precise mask created in the last section. I’ll cover my favorite techniques for a quick and eff...


Subject Contrast

Continue adding precise contrast, now to the subject using my tried and true contrast separation techniques.


Dodge & Burn and Noise

Learn how to dodge and burn like a pro to clean up skin and adjust contrast. I’ll also cover several techniques to equalize the noise levels throughout the photograph, which have changed due ...

Stage Three, Part Two


Combining Masks

In this lesson, I introduce new techniques to create even more complex masks and to combine multiple masks into one for even greater control and speed.


Sky Contrast

Add precise and dramatic amounts of contrast to the sky using the mask created in the last section. New techniques are introduced to get the best results.


Content Based Vignetting

Learn one of my favorite techniques to create a content based vignette on the foreground of the image that is much more natural and realistic than other methods. We’ll look at additional tech...

Stage Three, Exposure Blending


Exposure Blending, Part 1

Sometimes a scene has a dynamic range that is wider than your sensor can record. Learn some of my favorite techniques to bracket your exposures, and how to blend multiple exposures together without...


Exposure Blending, Part 2

Additional blending techniques are introduced for situations requiring more complicated masking. I’ll share some tips and tricks to make the software do the hard work for you.

Finishing Touches


Color Toning

Learn several ways to add richness and depth to your black and white photography by adding warm, cool, or split tones. Techniques in Capture One and Photoshop are covered.

Black & White Printing


Printer and Paper Selection

In this lesson, I discuss what goes into selecting the right printer and do a deep dive into the world of photo paper. I cover all of the most important things to look out for when selecting the pe...


Getting Ready to Print

Here is the most important information to know when you’re getting ready to print. Topics include: how to make sure your monitor and your viewing environment are properly set up, how to print...


File Prep and Printing

Learn how to properly prepare your files to be printed with museum quality results. We’ll look at various techniques to make sure that your prints look their absolute best.


Evaluating Your Prints

I’ll teach you how to properly evaluate your prints, and offer some troubleshooting tips to fix any problems that might occur.

Dramatic Black & White Masterclass


Learn the essential knowledge to compose, edit, and print incredible black and white images like a pro.

Buy Now