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I'm a 3D Artist/Animator who has begun taking black and white photography in an attempt to get back to the basics of light and shadow. Many of my clients demand high-impact, colorful graphics, which have their place to be sure. But it can often become overwhelming, and the act of doing black and white photography clears my mind a little. The act of photography for me has come out of my love for hiking through the deserts on very hot days. I drive out to locations in my jeep, and then usually hike in the rest of the way. I'm not one to wait in one spot for very long, I'm much happier taking pictures while I'm on the move. Since I've started doing photography, I'm seeing the desert in a new way, and this in turn gives me new ideas about photography. Currently, I'm using a Minolta DImage G600. At this time I don't use a tripod. I take all of my pictures in color, and convert them to black and white in Photoshop. I generally convert to black and white via the channel mixer, because it helps to cut down on the graininess of the sky. Next, I dodge and burn, playing with different contrasts and levels. After dodging and burning, I always add some unsharp mask, usually with a large radius, and a small amount. This helps to accentuate certain features in the image and increases the overall impact. Next, I add another layer of unsharp mask, this time with a very small radius and a larger amount. This adds a more traditional sharpening to the image.