Looking to enhance my B&W pics. Opinions appreciated.

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Idaho21, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. Idaho21

    Idaho21 TPF Noob!

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    I would say that I now take 60% of my images in B&W. I have really taken a liking to it. Recently, I have seen pics that others have posted, and they state they were using a red filter, yellow filter, blue filter, etc. They looked really good, and it appeared that the filters they were using made all the difference.

    So, I have tried to find some info on using different colored filters for B&W with limited success. Can you guys help me out. What color filters do you use, and in what situations would you use them. Any help is appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    These filters can make a big difference when chosen carefully, though this is mostly a film issue. They work the same with digital, but their effect can be replicated in post processing during the B&W conversion in almost all cases. This is why most serious digital B&W shooter abhor the simple in-camera B&W conversion and prefer using more controllabe conversion techniques on an image by image basis.
     
  3. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    *cringes at the mention of that terrible...thing*
     
  4. Big

    Big TPF Noob!

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    I found this on a site about black and white filters. I think I will pick up a red filter since I love dramatic black and whites!

    Changes using the yellow filter are subtle so it's used by many photographers as a lens protector and most benefit is seen in landscape photography where the effect on blue is just enough to make a light sky a shade darker than the print's border.

    The orange lightens reds so it's favoured by portrait photographers who use it to reduce freckles and skin blemishes. Architectural photographers also find it's affect on bricks useful. This out of all the filters is arguably the most practical and should be a definite first on your shopping list.

    Red is for the creative photographer who likes contrasty results, as tones are dramatically affected. It's also used by infrared photographers as an alternative to the true infrared filter and very popular with landscape shooters.

    Green is less popular in the black & white photographer's kit, but would be appreciated by landscape photographers as it affects greens and can help differentiate between foliage making the whole scene come to life. The downside is it lightens the blue in a sky so the overall contrast may suffer.

    Blue is little used for black & white work and would mostly be considered as a contrast reducer which you can often do satisfactorily using a different paper grade.
     
  5. Idaho21

    Idaho21 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the useful information. It is appreciated very much.
     
  6. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    And all that can be done in post.
     
  7. Gaerek

    Gaerek TPF Noob!

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    I'm with most of the other opinions here. Save your money and learn how to use color curves in post. You'll be able to fine tune a lot better than a filter, and you can easily replicate the results of any color filter. There's no reason anymore to pigeonhole yourself into a shot because you had a filter on, and now you can't remove the changes the filter made to the shot.
     

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