B&W digital camera settings?

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by Kernix, Aug 20, 2009.

  1. Kernix

    Kernix TPF Noob!

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    I have a Canon digital Rebel XTi and I want to shoot some cityscapes in black & white. I set the Picture Style to Monochrome with settings of 3, 0, R, N (that's sharpness, contrast, filter effect [Red] and toning effect [None]). Was wondering if anyone can shoots with different settings and why.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The most common (and best IMO) advice is to shoot in Color (RAW) and convert to B&W with Photoshop or other software.
     
  3. Kernix

    Kernix TPF Noob!

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    That's what I'm hearing from other people - thanks!
     
  4. Goontz

    Goontz TPF Noob!

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    Agreed; shoot in color and do any B&W work in PP. This is also good because that way you're not stuck w/ a B&W version of a shot if it would otherwise work better in color.
     
  5. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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  6. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The settings you have are extremely limiting. You have played with the red effect I assume? It darkens the sky a bit and brings out people's skin tones. Great when photographing people but not much else. There are plenty of times when you would want to mimic a blue or green filter.

    In such cases it's always good to shoot colour and convert using your favourite software. Every software worth it's salt should give you some kind of option for blending the various red green and blue channels to grey.
     
  7. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    When shooting for B&W, in addition to what has been already said about shooting in color and converting, Shoot with the mind set of B&W. Don't think convertion, Think that you have B&W film in the camera. It's harder than it sounds especially when shooting digital but it helps with composing, color positioning, lighting and other compositional elements as they are slightly different than in color. I have too often seen when people are thinking color, shooting in color then try converting later and have crappy conversion results and can't understand why.
     
  8. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Good advise, but hard to do for most people these days since most new shooters at least don't have black and white film experience. After 35 years of shooting I can turn on black and white any time I want. I sure shot enough cases if not truck loads of B&W film over the years. I doubt that a digital only shooter can envision black and white with out having that experience. This is just one more reason that I advocate that anyone that wants to learn photography ought to have some film experience. It teaches a different mindset. :D
     
  9. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    ahmen to the above statement
     
  10. flea77

    flea77 TPF Noob!

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    Agreed! The best, and easiest way to make a B&W image is with B&W film.

    Allan
     
  11. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I'm not sure I would call it the easiest. It takes a knowledge and possession of a vast array of filters to shoot B&W film. Glass filters that are not needed for digital and are much easier and cheaper to duplicate in post processing. Film is the best way however to learn to think and train your brain to see in black and white.
     
  12. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    I disagree with the idea that learning B&W is best done with film. I see absolutely no advantage over using a digital camera that has a B&W mode. To me, its seems no advantage either way.

    The supposed advantage of film is, I presume, that you never see the photograph in color and, once shot, the conversion of the subject color into B&W tones is fixed. If you shoot B&W JPEG with very normal settings and no filter effect (not the red the OP is using) you have pretty much the same thing as shooting B&W film. For the real beginner, this is where you should start. As you develop an eye for "seeing" in B&W you can progress to more advanced techniques.

    For the serious shooter, shooting either B&W film with no collection of filters or shooting B&W JPEG w/o electronic filter ajustment is not optimal. To do good film work you need filters. To do good digital you need the electronic equivalent of the same. You to change your camera settings on a shot for shot basis. With digital, by far the best way to do this is to shoot RAW (which is always color) and do the B&W conversion in post processing to make the "filter" and tonal adjustments (contrast, ...) necessary.
     

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