Black and white

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Innocence, Feb 28, 2007.

  1. Innocence

    Innocence TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2006
    Messages:
    140
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would like to have a go at taking black and white shots - or at least taking colour shots and then making them black and white.

    Just wondering if there is anything I need to watch out for? Because a lot of the photos I'm taking now - just don't seem to be meant for black and white? mm, I can't really put my finger on it haha..

    Just looking for pointers really. =)

    Thank you!
     
  2. fightheheathens

    fightheheathens TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2005
    Messages:
    1,011
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Berkeley
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I have found that shooting in B&W takes an eye.
    You need to learn to see in black and white which you can do, it just takes time.
    I shoot film and so i always shoot with a red filter infront of my lens
    which helps me see in black and white but with digital you dont really do that
    my best suggestion is to just take all of your shots and convert them to
    black and white, you can eventually learn what is going to show up as white, what will be black and what will be the greys inbetween.
    As a general rule, a good B&W photo has the fullest shade of black, the fullest shade of white plus a varity of shades of grey inbetween.

    With black and white you have to remember that color isn't there and what is going to make the image interesting is the composition the way light creats shaddows and the texture of the objects you are photographing...thats all i can think of really....
     
  3. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Messages:
    9,713
    Likes Received:
    203
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Remember that colours can also form light differences which can be brought out with filters. Filters can be emulated in photoshop.

    For instance A hoya 25A filter can be made using the channel mixer setting the output to monochrome, 100% red, 0% green, and 0% blue.

    I find that I have sometimes gotten the most stunning black and whites when I have simply played with fouled up colour shots.
     
  4. Innocence

    Innocence TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2006
    Messages:
    140
    Likes Received:
    0
    thank you both for the suggestions.

    I think i lack what fighttheheathens has described, so maybe that's why I find such difficulty picturing what a good black and white shot would look like before taking the actual shot. haha well i'll go play, and let you know.
     
  5. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2005
    Messages:
    1,230
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Near Lanark, Scotland
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    If you're going to use photoshop to convert to B&W then before that conversion treat the image as a colour one. in other words enhance the saturation, contrast etc as you see fit THEN do your conversion to B&W.

    Doing that, i find you get a better image with a better tonal range in it.
     
  6. Efergoh

    Efergoh TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Messages:
    800
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Battle Creek, MI
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    If you're shooting digital (and using a DSLR), dig into your owners manual. You should be able to shoot B&W in camera. and you can see your images right there on your screen when you take the shot.
     
  7. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2005
    Messages:
    1,230
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Near Lanark, Scotland
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Using the camera to carry out the conversion can give much less desirable results due to the inflexibility given to the user. Also once you shoot in B&W you can't get the colour image.
    However if you shoot in colour and convert using photoshop you'll have both.
     
  8. Efergoh

    Efergoh TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Messages:
    800
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Battle Creek, MI
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    True enough, but this exercise will train her to think more about shape, lines, texture, composition, and light from a B&W perspective.

    Frankly, I think B&W produces more powerful images than color can. Yes, color is great, and can be visually appealing, but I prefer B&W.

    Perhaps you could shoot from B&W film as an exercise. If you don't have access to a B&W darkroom, you can get c41 process B&W film at Walgreens.
     

Share This Page