It is always easy to make review, to look at somebodies else work and make judgement. Much more difficult then create something our-self. I am aware of that but still I like to share my view on Jean Michel Berts b&w tutorial. I do experience with creating courses, tutorials and with delivering them most of my days.
Many of you who come here to read what I think about Jean Michel Berts b&w tutorial goes right away. I wonder why is that? Well I let you read further, but be informed that you can find interesting photographs and reading in my portfolio and blog as well as other articles I wrote.
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When I have purchased the tutorial made by Jean Michel Berts I was not hesitating for a second. Especially because I like style of his black and white photographs. That style reminds me very much my early black and white work. His images gave me often that eternal, calm feeling one get from quality, full tonal and detailed, but dreamy black and white prints.
After I have payed and downloaded over 700MB big zip file, I was really curious, not only what his way of working is, but also how he did this tutorial. With quite some enthusiasm I have opened first movie. The way how he is working with Photoshop on post-processing his images is extremely simple, but very smart. You can really call it drawing with light and contrast on captured images. I enjoyed this very much, certainly after I have compared it with much more complex approaches or much more simple ones which doesn’t offer you any freedom. The creativity his way is offering and freedom combined with simplicity is really striking.
I have both books from Vincent Versace, focusing on the same topic. His approach is very sophisticated and his books are done the way that you have feel of rather complexity of his way. You even get feeling that once you master this complex way you will be able to do images like he does. Of course it is not true, simply because the technique, any technique, doesn’t make great image on its own. Same, could be said about approach by Jean Michel Berts. Especially because his road through post processing is, one could say, extremely simple. But without his view, his idea about finding image, without his vision and decision where to touch and how to modify image, any technique will not help you to create great photograph.
I haven’t thought much about the price I pay for tutorial created by Jean-Michel Berts, until I have seen how was it done. The way how movies are made is not bad, but sound, oh man sound is rather terrible. I was surprised, because it felt, rather amateurish. It looks like all was done very quickly in few hours. Some scene, when they talk in front of camera should, where probably taken only once and no retakes. The Serge Ramelli who is having dialogues with Jean-Michel is very enthusiastic, but his, almost American way of saying wow, great, marvelous, every three minutes really disturbs. At least me, you certainly could have different view. He also making quite a few factual errors in commenting action Jean Michel is doing in Photoshop.
I fully understand this enthusiasm and joy of creating such a tutorial, but I am sure that little more conservative approach and more professional way of recording (especially the sound) would made this tutorial excellent. I do create video recordings for my classes often in time pressure to cover hot topic, but I do not ask $97 for it. Please do understand me correctly, I am not saying that this tutorial is bad, you will learn and see unique approach to Jean-Michel Barts creation of his black and white images, I only doubt if price shouldn’t be more like $25.