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Next Level B&W Best Practices Webinar

Next Level B&W Best Practices – a 2-session webinar

This all-practical webinar via Zoom focused on raising the bar in post-processing and creating high-quality professional grade images through best practices, consists of 2 different and independent sessions: 

1. Session 1 – A hands-on demonstration session on Sunday, August 13th 

2. Session 2 – An independent review & feedback session on

  • Sunday, August 27th (session 2A) or
  • Sunday, September 3rd (session 2B)

*UPDATE: Review & Feedback sessions, are all sold out*

All sessions will take up approx. 3.5 hours each. Even though, it is recommended to only follow session 2 if you have attended session 1 to understand what I expect in terms of quality from a submitted image, you are free to attend the feedback/review session, without session 1. 

Raising the bar, not the average

This 2-session webinar is all about raising the bar of quality instead of raising the average. When creating art, good is not good enough for me. This webinar is therefore not about making images that comply with the average standards of social media for the sake of likes: social media algorithms know nothing about quality. But it is about learning to create images with the highest possible quality for international competitions, demanding global A-brand clients, and exhibition and gallery curators. Professional images, judged by an experienced human eye. And I do that by demonstrating best practices to create work that stands out from the average.

A focus on quality through best practices and effort

The only true secret behind great B&W photography is quality. Quality that can only be achieved through never-ending practice and dedication. At the same time, quality is an elusive property that has been debated by philosophers over the centuries. There’s no definition of quality but it’s nevertheless the most important aspect in what we do and create. You can read more about the important role of quality in my new blog post here. The question becomes then: what exactly do you need to practice to achieve quality? The honest answer is there’s no shortcut to quality – it requires time and effort and critical reflection. If you don’t want to make this effort, then quality is not attainable and this webinar is not for you.

The outline of the webinar

In this 2-session webinar, I will focus on and demonstrate the most important elements of processing images, the best practices, that are worth spending time and effort in, and determine the quality.

There are two levels of analysis and processing that need separate attention: the micro and macro levels.

The micro level – the details

The beginner is overdoing, while the expert always goes for subtlety. Subtlety is a hallmark of quality and experience in any discipline. When working on the micro level of details, then subtlety is key: subtle contrasts, subtle transitions, subtle presence, and depth. It is the subtlety that largely decides the quality level. E.g. most people know how to create contrast and make a dark-to-light transition with the gradient tool, but doing this subtly is a very specific skill that needs practice. I will demonstrate what to look for to save yourself years of practice and how to do a correct analysis with the correct adjustments.

The macro level – unity and consistency

On the macro level, it is about unity, coherence, consistency, and also about spatial composition and tonal composition. Most people are familiar with spatial composition (arrangements of spaces and objects) but not many are aware that tonal composition is also an important part of composing.

I will demonstrate how to make the right analysis and how to apply it, from tonal composition to creating unity, using best practices.

This will be done by processing a few photos from start to end.

Also, as a bonus, I will provide you with a few techniques, one entirely new, that will enhance your processing considerably.

  1. A method of accurately creating presence and depth with a combination of carefully selected luminosity masks and the gradient tool
  2. A new never published method of stylizing skies using the original RAW information selectively. I stay far from replacing skies.

In the end, I will give students who also attend the 2nd Review/Feedback session (optional) the assignment to practice and apply what has been learned in their own work and submit one finished image for a detailed review via email and live during the 2nd session. Attendees of session 2 who didn’t attend session 1 will get this assignment with requirements via email.

Price and duration

  1. Session 1 on August 13:  $140 USD (3.5-hour session)
  2. Session 2 on either August 27 or September 3:  $145 USD (3.5-hour session plus extensive feedback via email)
  3. Combo pack of session 1 + session 2: $240 USD

The sessions will be recorded and only paying attendees will receive a copy of the recording.

Scroll down to sign up or click here to go to the sign-up section.

Date and time

Session 1 (demonstrations): Sunday, August 13, 2023. The class will start at 2.30 pm CET (Amsterdam) / 8.30 am EST (New York) / 5.30 am PST (Los Angeles).

The class will end at 6.00 pm CET (Amsterdam) / 12.00 NOON EST (New York) / 9.00 am PST (Los Angeles)

Session 2 (review/feedback): 2A –Sunday, August 27, or 2B – September 3, 2023. The classes will start at 2.30 pm CET (Amsterdam) / 8.30 am EST (New York) / 5.30 am PST (Los Angeles).

The class will end at 6.00 pm CET (Amsterdam) / 12.00 NOON EST (New York) / 9.00 am PST (Los Angeles)

Limited Group size

The second session with feedback and reviews is limited in size and therefore there are 2 feedback/review sessions to spread out the attendees. The first demonstration session are larger but I prefer to keep it small.


For intermediate to advanced, beginners are welcome as well even though they might find it more challenging to follow the technical demonstrations. Sufficient knowledge of Adobe PS is a requirement.

What this webinar is not about

It is not necessary to have Joel’s B&W Artisan Pro panel, you can do everything with Adobe PS but it takes more time. I’m using the panel only in the webinar to speed up the workflow but will briefly  tell you what PS features to use instead  if you only use PS.

Luminosity masks play an important role in my workflow. For those who don’t have an automated way for creating luminosity masks or my panel, I will provide a simple PS action set.


Session 1 topics – the start-to-end demonstration webinar on August 13 
  • Start-to-end Processing of a photo for the 1st main draft (1 extensive demonstration + few shorter demos) with the focus on subtlety and unity and how to avoid mistakes beginners don’t see.
    • Selection of images based on theme and impact (composition, contrast, etc.)
    • Pre-preparations in the raw converter (LR or Bridge, etc.)
    • Decide on the most important object or objects (Figure or figures) and the ground and how to treat each of those elements effectively on a macro and micro level
    • Tips on how to approach masking but masking will not be demonstrated explicitly and in detail as this deserves an entirely separate webinar. What will be covered is what to mask and what not to mask, based on the figure/ground and recommendation of the right techniques and a brief outline on how to approach it.
    • Tonal composition, based on Figure/Ground. A topic rarely discussed but should always be a top priority in every serious B&W instruction. You will learn what to do and what not to do. E.g. dark skies vs lighter objects and vice versa. What’s more effective and better? Also, how to create dark skies the right way. Furthermore correct distribution of tonal zones and contrast in images to enhance the spatial composition.
    • How to create depth and presence the basic way and also more advanced for complicated shapes and more accuracy
    • New Sky STYLIZING TECHNIQUE: The first public demonstration of a new technique to make every sky look amazing. No sky replacements will be done, instead, I show you how you can make every sky work using the available RAW information in your photo only. You can now exclude the sky almost entirely from the culling decision process
Session 2A & 2B topics – the review and feedback sessions (August 27 or September 3) UPDATE: all review & feedback sessions are sold out.
  • Review of photos the students have processed based on what’s discussed in session 1
  • I will make recommendations, suggest improvements, and show how to do it
  • Photos have to be submitted at the latest 3 days prior to the 2nd session. But preferably 5 days in advance to have enough time to review it thoroughly. Everyone will receive extensive feedback before the session via email and also during the session but some photos will be discussed more extensively during the 2nd live session.
  • Since I’m also a (recurring) judge for various photo competitions every year since 2015, I will give you insight into how I judge an image and what makes a winning image. I will use the same way of assessing images for the review of your photos.a


Signing up via the sign-up button below, will only secure your place and add to the tally of the maximum number of students if the seat is also paid for. Full is full.

Session 1 – August 13 – US$ 140

Demonstration session processing images for professional grade quality.  Can be followed stand-alone. 

This option is SOLD OUT***
Session 2A – August 27 – US$ 145

Review & Feedback session. Recommended to be followed with Session 1 but not mandatory. If you don’t follow session 1 you will receive the assignment after session 1 on August 14. **LIMITED SEATS** Update: SOLD OUT

This option is SOLD OUT***
Session 2B- September 3 – US$ 145

Same as Review & Feedback session 2A for other attendees to keep the groups for sessions 2A and 2B small. If you don’t follow session 1 you will receive the assignment after session 1 on August 14.

This option is SOLD OUT***
Combo Sessions 1 & 2A (AUG 13 & AUG 27) – US$ 240

If you want to attend both sessions, then the combo pack will come with a discount of $45. This is for session 1 on August 13 with session 2A on August 27.

This option is SOLD OUT***
Combo Sessions 1 & 2B (AUG 13 & SEP 3) – US$ 240

If you want to attend both sessions, then the combo pack will come with a discount of $45. This is for session 1 on August 13 with session 2B on September 3.

This option is SOLD OUT***

***Since the review & feedback sessions have limited seats and are almost all sold out, I’m considering offering a new review & feedback session for Sunday September 10. If you’re interested please let me know you’re interested in this form and if there’s enough interest I will make this option available.

About Joel Tjintjelaar

Joel Tjintjelaar is a fine art photographer who pioneered modern fine art architectural photography 15 years ago and has continued to innovate and improve methods and techniques to bring digital B&W photography to a higher level. Besides teaching B&W fine art and architectural photography, Joel has also been commissioned over the years by global A-brands like BMW and Qatar Airways for his architectural work. Finally Joel also designs B&W editing software and appears every year as a judge for various international photography competitions

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