Question about shooting black and white photography...

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Senor Hound, May 13, 2008.

  1. Senor Hound

    Senor Hound TPF Noob!

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    So I was reading on the forums, and someone posted a black and white photo. Someone replied, basically asking if they shot in color and converted to black and white, because they could tell a difference in contrast.

    My question is, does this only apply to film, or is the case in digital also? I can totally understand this happening if someone were shooting film, because there's so much difference in black and white film, and color film. However, I wouldn't think there would be any difference in how my camera renders black and white and how Photoshop does, at least not enough to detect it without looking at both together.

    Anyway, if someone could clarify this I'd appreciate it. I used to shoot black and white in-camera, but now that I have Photoshop, I've been hearing that I shouldn't.
     
  2. Seefutlung

    Seefutlung TPF Noob!

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    I used to shoot a ton of B&W film ... now I shoot a ton of B&W digital.

    Having said that just I realized I am not qualified to answer your question because I've alway convert my RAW image to B&W via my computer.

    I've use many B&W conversion methodologies in PS (Channel Mixer, Gray Scale, Desat) and personally, for most of my shots, I prefer the B&W conversion of DPP. (DPP is the free RAW conversion program provided by Canon with every dSLR.)

    DPP coversion taken at the R Faire a week ago:
    [​IMG]

    DPP again:
    [​IMG]

    Gary
     
  3. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    there are a variety of methods to convert color to black and white and each does look different, including those shot in camera.

    test it for yourself would be the best method.

    take an image and convert it using the most common methods and open them all on the screen and you will see for yourself which you prefer. if possible also take the same image in camera in black and white mode if that is possible with your camera.
     
  4. christopher walrath

    christopher walrath No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    To me, shooting color and then converting seems like cheating. I KNOW I KNOW. TAKING ADVANTAGE OF TECHNOLOGY. Ahh, Phooey. Sometimes a subject just screams to be captured in monochrome and not all subjects shot that way would have not benefitted from a splash of colour. It is about 40% pilot preference and 60% artful decision. I think.
     
  5. Seefutlung

    Seefutlung TPF Noob!

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    I dunno ... when I shoot I previsualize B&W or Color and adjust my shooting accordingly. Rarely do I convert a color image to B&W as an after thought.
     
  6. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Actually the other way. You can get such a wide contrast of black and white films that you can find excatly the one to suit your purpose, then there's the method of developing, and the grade paper you transfer the print to. I see no sense in shooting colour film if the final will be black and white. If you're going to control tone you will need to use optical filters regardless.

    With digital it makes more sense to shoot colour since things like photoshop's black and white toolbox allow you to simulate any combination of optical filters. An ability you lose if you set your camera to black and white jpeg mode before you start.
     
  7. KevinDks

    KevinDks TPF Noob!

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    Here is an example of what Seefutlung and Garbz are talking about. First, the original colour version of some toadstools:

    [​IMG]

    Then using the Channel Mixer in Photoshop (actually it's a Channel Mixer plugin for Elements, but it works in the same way) I converted the image to monochrome and adjusted each of the colour channels in turn. First, 100% red:

    [​IMG]

    Next is 100% green:

    [​IMG]

    Then the blue channel set to 100%:

    [​IMG]

    The clever part is that you can adjust the red, green and blue sliders to get the effect you want, mimicking traditional b&w filters used with film or attempting to get a similar look to a particular kind of film.

    Edit: This web page has a chart of red, green and blue channel settings to mimic a range of film types. Not sure how accurate this is, but it gives an idea of the kind of thing you can do, but only if you shoot in colour to begin with:

    http://www.markushartel.com/tutorials/photoshop/channel-mixer-settings.html

    Kevin
     
  8. christopher walrath

    christopher walrath No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yeah, that's what I said.
     

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