Questions tagged [black-and-white]

Classic way of conveying images using black, white and shades of gray, thereby emphasizing shapes and shadows.

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69
votes
14answers
5k views

When is black and white likely to enhance an image?

I recently had a play with converting some images to black and white to see how that changed the image. Some baby photos came out particularly well, while others I tried seemed less interesting when ...
35
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9answers
12k views

What's the difference between using black and white mode in-camera, and converting in post?

For black and white photography, will there be any quality difference between using the built-in black and white mode, or shooting in color initially and then removing the color later using Photoshop (...
34
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9answers
25k views

Why is 18% grey considered to be in the middle for photography?

I heard someone (a photographer) say recently that 18% grey is half way between black and white, not 50%. This seemed a bit illogical to me, and when I asked her why, she said she didn't know. After ...
30
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10answers
10k views

Is there a black and white physical filter?

I am wondering if there is a physical filter that would allow a camera to make black and white pictures without using any software effect/filtering?
29
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9answers
12k views

Why is software-based manipulation of images frowned upon while hardware-based manipulation is acceptable?

In my previous question someone pointed out that unnatural HDR based toning will get more objections from the photography community than cropping. I personally feel that slight HDR based enhancements ...
22
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4answers
9k views

Why is the cost of film going up so fast?

Two years ago 25 sheets of Ilford Delta 100 4x5 B&W cost just over $25. My last purchase last fall it was ~$35. Now it's $46. That's a steep rise! What's driving these rising film prices and can ...
21
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10answers
5k views

Can I develop my b&w film a year after shooting it?

I am a US citizen spending about a year in Germany and I've been shooting black and white film (ilford delta 400). I'm nervous about my film being in someone else's hands so I would prefer to develop ...
18
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2answers
10k views

What effect does a UV filter provide?

I know that I should always use a filter on my lens to protect the camera lens, however, exactly what impact to the picture does using a UV filter have — since that is the one most often used? I seem ...
17
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5answers
7k views

How does Renato D'Agostin achieve these super minimalist and high-contrast photos?

So there's a photographer named Renato D'Agostin who is renowned for his very high-contrast and minimalist photos, and while I don't want to recreate his style per se, I do want to try to replicate ...
17
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8answers
2k views

Is there any point in photographing directly to black & white? [duplicate]

As opposed to photographing in colour, then having all the freedom to edit it afterwards?
16
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4answers
1k views

What colour scheme for model aircraft should I use to give a realistic black and white film photo?

I very much doubt I'm the only person here who has wanted to do this, and I'm hoping that some advice can be sought before I start on this project. I have been a big fan of model building since I was ...
16
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2answers
4k views

How do I develop black and white negatives at home?

C41 (color negative) processing is tricky and sensitive, so it's difficult to do at home. I'd still like to learn about film processing, and have heard that black and white negatives are fairly ...
15
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6answers
2k views

Does black and white photography still make sense?

I think at first it was because of a limitation of the cameras present at the time, but with the color cameras that we have available now, what do you think of black and white photos? In other words, ...
15
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3answers
6k views

Is there a lossy compressed file format for 16-bit dynamic range images?

I'd like to aggressively compress some scientific 16-bit grayscale image files, but without reducing the dynamic range. Is such a thing possible? I understand that JPEG format uses lossy, and ...
15
votes
2answers
21k views

What does it mean when film turns out transparent after being developed?

I had a B/W film turn out transparent after being developed. Does it mean that a) it was never exposed b) it was always overexposed or c) something went wrong during development?
15
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6answers
2k views

How to decide whether a portrait should be in color or black and white?

How to decide whether a portrait should be in color or black and white? I'm particularly concerned with "headshot" style portraits, showing primarily the subject's face. On what basis should it be ...
14
votes
6answers
862 views

Tips for making black and white conversions in post-processing?

In image editors, especially powerful ones like GIMP and Photoshop, there happen to be a bevvy of ways to turn a color image into a black and white one, but not all techniques are the same. How do ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

What's the best practice to take black & white pictures with a digital camera? [duplicate]

I have a D40 camera. When I plan to take pictures that I want to be B/W, what is the best practice? The truth is that there is a "command line" in the "tool menu" of the camera that transforms the ...
13
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I achieve this creamy black and white look?

The JW Anderson SS19 campaign video has this very unique black and white look to it (that very much applies to photography too), and I can't figure out how to replicate it. I'm not sure if it's ...
13
votes
6answers
2k views

Why do many photographers present street photography in B&W?

This is more of a general observation and an attempt to analyse it. Most of the street photographs I have come across have been presented (either shot in or post processed) in B&W. Are there ...
13
votes
3answers
3k views

What advantages does a pure black and white camera have over colour cameras?

Now that Leica has released a pure black and white camera, the Leica M-Monochrome, I started to think about the advantages a pure black and white camera has compared to a colour camera. I guess you ...
13
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1answer
11k views

Which color filter do I use for a black & white portrait?

I know color filters "block out" colors opposite to the color of the filter, and when used in black & white photography, can brighten or darken the object depending on its color and the color of ...
12
votes
3answers
18k views

What is the difference between black and white film and color film?

What is the difference between black and white film and color film? How does color film record color? Is it like black and white film with something more, or is it entirely different?
12
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3answers
2k views

How can using a color filter help to improve a black and white photo?

Okay, so I know that using a color filter can have some desirable effects, for instance, if you use a certain color filter, it will diminish the effects of any skin problems a person has. What color ...
12
votes
8answers
2k views

Why is “fine art” photography predominantly in B&W?

I've done a lot of reading on this to try and find the answer myself, but have not been successful. I've seen many definitions of "fine art" in the web, wikipedia, etc. I've read about the historical ...
12
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5answers
4k views

Would a demosaic algorithm for black and white be useful?

Given that the main purpose of demosaicing is to recover colour as accurately as possible, would there be any advantage to a "black and white only" demosaic algorithm? That is, instead of first ...
12
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7answers
4k views

What are the pros and cons of film and digital for B&W photography?

What are the pros and cons of both platforms in context of black and white photography? There are several rather subjective arguments out there (like "film has richer gray-tones") and they're welcome ...
11
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6answers
7k views

How do I get the high contrast sharpness seen in this B&W portrait?

I would like some help on achieving this image on my D7000: the only lenses I have with me are: 50mm f/1.2, 80-200 AF f/2.8 and the 18-105 kit lens I tried B&W with the built-in B&W ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

What happens if I redscale a B&W film?

Redscaling is a technique where the film gets exposed in the wrong side. This creates a strong red hue in the images and it's very cool. You should definitely try it if you never did. So, what would ...
10
votes
4answers
488 views

What are the specific uses of different ways to convert to black-and-white?

This tutorial explains six ways to convert an image to monochrome: The "standard" grayscale conversion operation. The desaturate operation. Decomposing to RGB and using any one of the channels. ...
9
votes
3answers
10k views

Can I do “back conversion” of a B&W JPEG to color?

I have a black and white JPEG. It is in fact an RGB image, which means that the color is still there. And I know from past experience that when I shoot B&W with my Canon, the color image is still ...
9
votes
4answers
776 views

What is the significance of the word “Color” in the names of some older lenses?

This seems closely related to How does a lens affect the saturation of a picture?. Some older lenses I've seen contain the word "Color" in the name, such as Color-Yashinon and Color-Skopar (the ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Is it better for a beginner to start with black and white photography?

I'm quite a beginner in photography with no real experience in visual art. I became interested in it about 10 months ago. I inferred from the literature to avoid color photography for 2 to 3 years, ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

What are these circular splotches on my negatives?

This is my first roll of Tri-X 400, developed with D76 using Massive Dev's chart in this order: developer stop bath (tap water) fixer tap water (quick 1 minute wash) Photo Flo (2 minutes) tap water ...
9
votes
4answers
290 views

Developing negatives in a car? (B&W)

I plan on taking longer camping road trips with my 4x5 camera. I'd like to be able to develop the negatives while I'm traveling. I will not be staying in any buildings, just sleeping in a tent. I'll ...
9
votes
1answer
4k views

What film should I use for black and white outdoor 'formal' shots?

I'm wondering what type of black and white film is best to shoot good-quality outdoor photos that capture the quality of the trees, etc., and still show detail in people's faces. Is there a ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

What is a quick way to restore old black and white and sepia photographs?

I have a bunch of old black and white and sepia photographs from my grandparents' album that I scanned and would like to restore. The photographs are generally in good condition. there are some ...
9
votes
3answers
7k views

How well do dye-sublimation printers perform with black & white pictures?

Most of the dye-sublimation cassettes have CMYO (= cyan, magenta, yellow, overlay) panels. Are there any cassettes designed specifically for black & white pictures? For example (and as jrista ...
8
votes
6answers
2k views

Should I shoot color or black and white 35mm film to learn photography fundamentals?

I want to practice composition, or the basics of photography in reality. From what I've read, some people say shoot color, or only shoot black and white to learn composition right. From my personal ...
8
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3answers
4k views

Is 125 or 400 ISO film better for black and white studio shots?

ISO 125 or ISO 400 film: which should I use for studio shots? By the way, I am planning to shoot in black and white.
8
votes
5answers
12k views

What are the uses of yellow, green, red, blue filters in black and white photography?

Could someone explain the difference in using colored filters for black and white photos? What is the best practice using these filters for portraits, landscapes, macro? For different types of weather:...
8
votes
4answers
19k views

How to proceed after having developed the negatives?

There are a lot of excellent questions (and answers!) about the process of developing (BW) film at home. I would like to try my hand at it, too. But it's not exactly clear how to proceed after ...
8
votes
1answer
908 views

What causes this strange Posterization when changing to B&W?

I have this image that was taken several years ago with a D70. It was taken at 1600 ISO which obviously makes it quite noisy. I really want to convert it to black and white, but when I desaturate it ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Nice cameras for B/W photography?

Considering that most people cannot afford a Leica Monochrom, are there any other cameras that are better suited than average for Black and White photography? I mean, some sensor designs emphasize ...
8
votes
4answers
412 views

What cloth patterns and colours should be preferred for clothes while shooting portraits in black and white?

How do different colours and cloth design patterns affect black and white photographs? Which patterns and colours should be preferred for clothes while shooting in black and white?
7
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1answer
1k views

How was this black and white photograph of a calm ocean done?

How can I create photographs with the characteristics of this image?
7
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3answers
4k views

Can red LEDs be used as darkroom safe lights?

In the past when I have used a darkroom the safe lights have been a dim incandescent bulb, with an 'orangish' colored filter. Given red light is less energetic than orange, and LEDs are reasonably ...
7
votes
6answers
693 views

What should I focus on when converting photos to black and white?

When I look at the black and white photographs from professional photographers, I notice that they have a special look. Not a specific style—obviously each photographer has her own style—but a look ...
7
votes
2answers
410 views

What to look for when developing black and white print film?

I have Ilford HP5 Plus 400, I believe this is one of the standard B&W films. I've developed this myself, but I'm not sure what to look for or ask a lab tech to make sure that they develop this ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Are there any consumer digital cameras with grayscale sensors?

Are there any consumer grade (i.e. not ridiculously expensive scientific equipment) digital cameras that use "grayscale" sensors instead of the prolific RGGB bayer filter? I figure that you'd get an ...