Not understanding Black and White

Discussion in 'General Gallery' started by mooimeisie, Aug 8, 2009.

  1. mooimeisie

    mooimeisie TPF Noob!

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    I'm not understanding why so many people do all their photos in black and white. I recently did a wedding with another person, and they have consistantly converted all their photos to black and white, even though it was a garden wedding. I took these photos today of a very old farm house and have posted both the color and black and white versions. I'd really like to hear people's opinions on these.
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  2. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    Let me say that I don't know why this wedding photographer converted everything to B&W but weddings in B&W can be absolutely beautiful. I'm not big on framing family style photos (no room for them on my walls :lol:) but I do have photos of my parents wedding, shot in B&W by a news photographer. They are absolutely stunning. Of course it helped that they were shot with a 4x5 Speed Graphic.

    I also shot a wedding in B&W. The bride was an artist, the wedding itself was art and she wanted the shooting to be kind of an art project. Again, stunning photos.

    B&W is an art in itself. It takes time to understand and learn to shoot in B&W (or, in the digital world, for B&W) which is different from color. Converting an image to B&W does not necessarily make an interesting image. You may get lucky and get a good one but to consistently get great results, you will need to learn to see in B&W.

    The other problem with digital B&W is that a major part of the magic of the art is the print itself. Art book publishers have always struggled to get good renditions of art works in books and B&W photos gave them the same problems. So imagine what kind of quality you're going to get from an Epson printer. :(

    If you've ever fallen in love with a painting in a book and got to see the real thing later on in a museum, you'll get the idea of what I'm talking about.
     
  3. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Your B&W versions above look like you just pushed the greyscale button...
    It you spend a little time on them, they could be much better.
     
  4. mooimeisie

    mooimeisie TPF Noob!

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    You're right. I just did the auto corrections, then pressed covert to black and white. I know what to do with color, but don't really know what to do with balck and white.
     
  5. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Pretty much the same thing.

    Mess around with the greyscale mix, adjusting how much of each color is going into it. You'll see the results as you go.

    I like high contrast in my B&W, so I usually boost that too.
     
  6. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    May I suggest going to the library and getting a few of photos in B&W and look at the photos carefully.

    Try and find a book by a fairly recent photographer as some of the old master had the problem of the early gear that wasn't quite to the level of the later one. If you're not used to looking at old photos the technical limitations could distract you from looking at only the B&W aspect.
     
  7. mooimeisie

    mooimeisie TPF Noob!

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    The library, exactly what I advise everyone else. Thanks
     
  8. guest0

    guest0 TPF Noob!

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    Well its quite simple everyone is different, its all about ones preference. If we all liked the same things it would be a very boring world indeed.
     
  9. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    Where I live we have a couple of bookstores where we can sit and flip through books. They have comfortable chairs and more recent books so I go there too. But the library is better sometimes since you can take the books home.
     
  10. mooimeisie

    mooimeisie TPF Noob!

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    Love the combo bookstores/coffee shops - Chapters and Starbucks.
     

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