filters and b&w film

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by JungleGuts, Jul 10, 2007.

  1. JungleGuts

    JungleGuts TPF Noob!

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    What types of filters would normally be used with b&w film for photographing nature and stuff like that?

    What would be the outcome of using a light green filter with b&w film?
     
  2. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    the easiest way to remember what filters do, they lighten their own color and darken their opposite. They are used to separate tonal values that other wise would begin to merge .

    you will find a hundred different suggestions from a hundren different folks, however, the most common used for landscape are the reds, and greens. That is where i would start. At one time, TIFFEN (i think that was the company) had a nice phamphet that gave a very simple break down of the various filters available.
     
  3. TheLostPhotographer

    TheLostPhotographer TPF Noob!

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    Think of filters as colour gates. The blue filter only lets the blue light in. The red filter only lets the red light in etc.

    B&W film is generally panchromatic (sensitive to all light in the visible spectrum) so, all colours of light are being recorded and reproduced in monochrome.

    Used in landscape a red filter will darken a blue sky because a red filter is predominantly only allowing the red light to reach the film. A green filter would darken red subjects etc.

    A polarizer increases the effect of the colour gate so, a dark red filter over a polarised blue sky would turn the blue to almost black (letting absolutely no blue light in).

    Here's an example of the latter effect:
    http://www.thelostphotographer.com/website/spainbandw/13.htm


    It's worth considering filters for B&W portraits also. Dark red filter used here:
    http://www.thelostphotographer.com/website/spainbandw/07.htm


    A good reason for using filters with B&W in nature would be photographing fish underwater for example. Firstly a polariser would reduced surface reflection. Let's say you're photographing goldfish in a garden pond full of green plants and generally greenish at the bottom. A red or, an orange filter would allow the orange light reflected by the fish and block the green light effectively increasing the contrast.

    Plenty of uses - get out an experiment.
     
  4. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I like to carry yellow, orange, red, green, yellow-green, and polarizing filters for BW film. Yellow, orange, and red have a similar effect, but different intensity: darken blue skies and green foliage. Green lightens green, darkens caucasian skin. Yellow-green darkens skies a bit without darkening green foliage so much. Pol darkens blue skies, and reduces glare on foliage, glass, water, etc....
     
  5. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    To see what effect a filter has before buying it you can mimic them in photoshop's channel mixer. A #25A red would be 90% red 5% green and 5% blue if I remember correctly.

    That is pretty much the only filter I use for B&W film photography.
     

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