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by garik

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37

Yes, there is a huge difference: You cannot change your mind if you set your camera to B&W. Another difference is that there are multiple ways of converting to B&W, some people do not simply use luminance and will favor certain colors during the conversion. In the film days, it was possible to use a colored filter with B&W film to reduce the ...


31

In General It is almost always better to convert to black and white in post, because you have much more control over the process. If you use the in-camera conversion, you get it the way it converts. If you shoot in color, then you have many different ways in post to convert the image. Here is an overview for B+W conversion (in GIMP). Another way to think ...


25

The problem is definitely not overexposure; that renders negatives black. To work out whether it was underexposure or a development problem, there's a fairly straight-forward indicator: Do you see any edge markings (marked red in the example below)? They'll vary from film to film; not all will have barcodes, but there's usually a name or number at the ...


23

I think there are subjects and shots that work much better in monochrome than in color. There are others that don't. For pictures where the color itself is a major component of the picture (e.g., rainbows, sunsets) color is essentially always preferable. In other cases, however, a monochrome image can can eliminate distractions and do a much better job of ...


21

Kodak has a series of tips for choosing black and white shots that really covers everything. I personally prefer to go with black and white when I am trying to convey the texture of a subject, when the colors distract from the story I'm trying to tell, or when there is a strong lighting contrast in the shot.


19

I don't really have set rules (however I bet some do exist) for B&W conversions, but in genral for me it's: When color really doesn't add anything to an image. For example you have a scene where most of the tones are muted. When I want the image subject to be about the space, shapes, or negative space For artistic effect This is a bit of a catch-all, I ...


19

There are several effects going on here. The water effect must be done in camera, with a very long exposure. Probably during dusk or at night otherwise you'll have too much light, even with a strong ND filter. The black and white conversion can be done in camera if shooting JPEG but is better done in post. The gradient in the sky is either done with a ...


17

Quite a lot of the time, much more than most people think. My advice would be to try converting pretty much everything and see how you like the results. After doing this for a while, I discovered that now I have a specific choice in mind (color or B&W) right when I'm composing, and I'm usually right. It's a cool feeling. Also (and this doesn't quite ...


17

Color film contains several layers, each sensitive to a different color of light (red, green, blue). When exposed to light and developed, these produce magenta, cyan and yellow colors in the negative. The printing process works in a similar way. This is similar to the way digital sensors work, in that there are filters to exclude all but one color of ...


15

The best for chimping is shooting in black and white, as you see the finished result directly. It's hard to see how a color image will look in black and white until you have converted a lot of images. The best for post processing is shooting in color. You have a lot more options for how to do the conversion to black and white than the camera can offer. The ...


15

The biggest advantage is that you get 3X more light sensitivity. With a bayer filter, every photosite gets 1/3 of the light that falls on it because the filter blocks 2/3 of incoming light to filter for one primary color. So the sensor becomes more sensitive to light. That means that less amplification of the read-out signal to get the same ISO as with a ...


14

That would really depend on what kind of effect you are going for, and which format you shoot. Some can't stand the more apparent grain that comes with higher speed film, but I think it adds character. Then there is development and printing, etc. I personally find B&W ISO 400 film to suit my taste though, mostly T-Max or Tri-X with a side of Ilford HP5 ...


14

For the budget? Go digital, but don't worry about those monochrome sensors. Sure, they're strictly better in terms of per-pixel awesomeness, but even entry-level DSLRs and mirrorless cameras have high enough resolution to make up for it — especially if your comparison point is 35mm film. And the color information let's you easily make color filter choices in ...


13

A UV filter cuts out the ultra-violet part of the spectrum (which is almost all filtered out by regular glass any way). Digital camera sensors as well as film are sensitive to near visible UV light which shows up as purple in photographs. This isn't usually a problem as the amount of UV light in most cases is minimal. It can however be a big problem under ...


13

Filters for B&W photography are really only applicable for negative film. Here is a good short discussion about this. If you have a digital image you can achieve similar effects in post by manipulating channels during the B&W conversion.


11

Developing film is a rewarding, easy, and forgiving process: I used to do it with young children at summer camp and it never failed (even in 85 degree weather!). At a minimum you need a developing tank, developer, and fixer. It helps also to use a stop bath (a mild acid, essentially dilute vinegar but purified). You also temporarily need a perfectly ...


10

Having accidentally wound an entire batch of cassettes backwards in the bag I can tell you it's not nearly as impressive as redscaling color film. The image will be slightly softer, and it will behave as if it was filtered with a slightly orange/brown-tinted ND filter (not the same as red or yellow, somewhere in between) due to the light passing through the ...


9

While by no means the only sort of subject that often looks good in black and white, subjects where the textures are of primary interest often work better in black and white. For instance, gnarled roots and bark often look better in black and white.


9

The best way to take a black and white picture in a digital camera is to do the following. Find a nice scene to photograph. Ideally, especially in black and white, you want a scene that will have a good level histogram from completely bright to completely black, and as many colors in between as possible. Take the picture Convert the picture in post. Nik ...


9

The look you are after is dependant on lighting and post processing rather than lenses. You want to shoot with soft but directional lighting so create strong textures within your image, directly sunlight through hazy cloud is good for this. As is the "magic hour". In post you need to blend the colour channels looking for the most contrasty mix. Then its a ...


9

Just set a black and white picture style but keep the file type set to raw. See this post for more information: Do different "Picture styles" affect RAW output?


8

Usually the decision is made before the photo is taken. I could go on at length about what makes a good black and white photograph, but instead I'll point you in the direction of an article I wrote about it which may help you.


8

Don't use real colored filters on a normal digital camera - for a 15MP bayer sensor camera with a red filter, you would actually be shooting a 3.75MP image. The exception is if you are doing IR or have a sensor modified to do only B&W photography. In general for modern B&W digital photography your equipment is shooting in color, and then you decide ...


8

When you refer to the 'lips' needing 'stronger tones' this relates to an area of the image needing a greater tonal range within that area achieved by adding contrast. This is different to the term toning in black and white photography. Toning is the name given to a process that adds an even colouration to a black and white photograph. Because the colour is ...


8

If you are using a digital camera, there is little need to use colored filters, as you can apply their effects in post processing when you do the black and white conversion. See Are there reasons to use colour filters with digital cameras? Also How can using a color filter help to improve a black and white photo? If you are shooting film, then Red is ...


8

Photos made "in the natural way" may be more highly regarded by some, but that alone is no reason to go out and buy a set of filters. There some genuine advantages to working this way, however. For example filtering the light before it enters the camera can prevent overexposure (and hence loss of detail) of one ore more colour channels. This can be ...


8

When using B&W, you have decided that the colors are suppressing the subject and you want the viewer to concentrate on geometric's. But this is strictly decided by the photographer eye. A more detailed article about this subject can be found here


8

Although jrista answers the question in a basic way, he does not explain WHY a lens may be optimised for colour. As far as I'm aware any given lens will produce an 'adequate' image on both colour and B&W film, as its the same focusing plane and film area, however chromatic aberration is far more prominent in colour (its very hard to spot in B&W, ...



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