Very first(est) attempts at b&w photography

Discussion in 'General Gallery' started by LaFoto, Feb 19, 2004.

  1. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Inspired - by nature as it is presenting itself in this season as well as by you all here - I went out to buy myself my very first b&w film.

    And when I thought the time was right, I went out to take some photos.

    Today I could go and collect my prints.

    I felt (and still feel today upon seeing the outcome) when taking the photos that I actually am a "colour photo photographer" (if "photographer" at all....), in so far as I clearly LOOK for the colours. What little colours there are, I cherish those.

    So with the knowledge that I was having a b&w film in the camera, I had to look differently. I found that a not-so-easy step to take. And I'm not sure I have managed to take it.

    At first, I only liked 1 out of the 36 prints.
    After having looked at them over and again, I'm beginning to like a couple of others, too, and have in the end scanned 14, which I might show you for discussion by and by. Say if you want me to....

    Let's begin with... where shall I begin? The technical bloopers, which in their getting ever so slightly out of focus begin to develop their own appeal: portraits of my children. Here we go.

    [​IMG]
    My son

    [​IMG]
    My daughter

    None of my photos is changed in any way, I scanned them as they came, only did I crop some edges here and there. But neither contrast nor anything has been changed (so far).
     
  2. nannabug

    nannabug TPF Noob!

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    It's always fun and challenging to try something new, like your venture into B&W. Very nice angle of lighting on both, and the natural lighting is appealing. Makes me want to know more about them. They are handsome children, LaFoto. The term 'children' doesn't seem appropriate since they appear grown, but they are always our 'children' aren't they?!
    These both appear slightly out of focus. Was this intentional?
     
  3. vonnagy

    vonnagy have kiwi, will travel...

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    think you are on to something here laphoto :)

    I like these shots alot, what is good is that i think you composed the shots quite well and they are quited candid (look very unposed).

    I love b&w because its strips all away but 'the soul', so to speak. Anyways, aside from them being a tad out of focus, you are off to a fantastic start with the b&w stuff!

    good work ;)
     
  4. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Great start! Classic widow lighting not only looks great, but I feel the window it's self lends to reflective moments by the subject. I'm intrigued! Did you try a foamcore bounce? (that may sound funny). A large piece of foamcore to bounce the light from the window, into the shadow area. Resulting in a more evenly exposed photo.
     
  5. Dew

    Dew TPF Noob!

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    i was nervous on my first b&w roll (which im only on my 10th or so btw :lol: ) .... you have lovely kids

    b&w you definatly have to see things differently ... look for contrast (since it wont be in color) ... if the foreground and background are too similar .. avoid it or try from a different angle ... you're off to a good start nontheless :D .... just remember, look for contrast and texture between two colors ... not the color itself

    b&w is beautiful and im thinking of shooting it exclusively (soon i suspect) ... keep at it, dont give up

    btw .. what film did u buy?
     
  6. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thank you for your kind replies.
    Let's answer a few questions first, then I can continue showing you the outcome of my adventure.
    My children, so I'd say, are still children, for my son will only turn 15 in April, and my daughter will only turn 11 in April. I find that especially my little girl is still a child.

    Both photos were very quick need-to-fill-the-film pics, so I didn't spend a long time on planning them, only did I say to them: "Please, walk over to that door, stop, stay there, now LOOK" and click. My daughter tends to pose more than her brother, which may be a gender thing.

    The film I used was a Kodak T400CN, the only b&w-film I could get! No more "normal" Ilford film to be had in the shops :shock: . My dad had those in hundreds when I was little, and today.....??? Plus getting these prints developed was soooo much more expensive than colour prints. Just compare: when I get colour prints done, I usually order 2 of each negative right away, makes 72 prints per film at a price of 1ct/print (and €2,55 the processing as such) = € 3,27. For these only 36 b&w-prints I had to pay over €13,-!!! For one print comes for 30ct/print!

    This might make me stay with colour photography...

    OK, enough said, it's back to showing you some of my photos, and after I had started with the "most disappointing ones" (for the blurry outcome had NOT been intentional... plus they look even "blurrier" after the scanning process), I'll now send you the one that I liked best - and thought it'd be the ONLY one of 36 photos that really appealed to me:

    [​IMG]

    Only did I say right in the shop upon giving them all a first glance: "Oh, if only the background trees would not be in the same line with the armrest of this bench! I ought to have lowered myself more or straightened up more..."!
     
  7. nannabug

    nannabug TPF Noob!

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    Oh my! I would have never guessed your daughter was only 11! She appears so mature in this picture. I would have guessed your son at about 17 or 18.
    As for your bench photo... it is wonderful. Very artistic. I'm not too sure about this, but I've been told it is not that expensive to develop one's own B&W film. Perhaps someone here can tell you more about that. I've been told it is considerably less expensive than, say, developing color prints. Perhaps a consideration if you're seriously interested in doing B&W.
     
  8. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well, I'm undecided - I have got only this one camera, and when there's a b&w film in it, I can't on the spur of the moment take any colour photos, and while there's a colour film in it, I can't go black and white (other than digitally via PhotoShop in my computer).

    As to my daughter - she does look very ladylike at times, and many have commented on it. But just for you, nannabug, I might go and scan one of the photos taken to fill the film (I was sooooo curious, I suddenly had this urge to finish it and hand it in!) where she acts like a child and you shall see.

    Now to continue my slow, by-and-by presentation of some of my latest pics, here we go with yet another one:

    [​IMG]
    Flooded meadows
     
  9. jack

    jack TPF Noob!

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    you doing interesting things corinna - looking good !

    i was taking 2 cameras around. a pentax with b&w, and the olympus with
    color-slide. but practically, i never seem to bother with the color film on the
    day, if my original motivation was to approach a scenario with b&w .
    if the weather's great and everythings in bloom, maybe id just take color.
    (but you know - sod's law: if i leave b&w at home, there will be a perfect
    opportunity to use it while i'm out. the idea of 'duplicating' similar shots in
    color as well as b&w doesnt really seem to happen.

    i guess i could just shoot in color and channel-mix copies into monchrome
    with photoshop - as digital is what i work things into.
    dont know why at the moment, but i cant bring myself to only shoot in
    color. (maybe it's b/c i would only use color-transparency film and i'm
    impatient to have prints in my hand to review).

    also - i like having that little bit of film-packing cardboard that says
    Ilford 'black & white' in the memo-holder on the back of my camera. 8) :wink:
     
  10. jack

    jack TPF Noob!

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    dew,

    i'm sure any decision you will make, will be with knowledge of your market.
    but, personally, i feel wrong not having an equal amount of color-work.

    some of the color-work on your site is fabulous. would you say b&w is as
    commercially worthwhile as color do you think ? it would seem to me to
    narrow the suitability of output to certain editorial applications.

    i appreciate b&w in portraiture, is an exception..//jack
     
  11. Dew

    Dew TPF Noob!

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    color has its place ... im doing more portraits these days and they request b&w :)

    i'd like to move out of beauty and fashion stuff into more editiorial portraits and documentary :D

    i suspect it will be a few months ... perhaps sooner
     
  12. soulfly

    soulfly TPF Noob!

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    just wanted to add my 2 cents worth, by the way, the B&W you used is color based b&W and should only have cost what you would pay for to process color film, at our lab we only charge the same cost to print this as we do to print the color films. (I work for Fujicolor Processing, and we do the film work for Wal-mart and Sams clubs) should not cost any more for this than a few dollars, if you paid more than say $3 or 4 bucks, you should consider going to walmart or sams club. regular B&W film is more, should be more like $ 7 or $8 bucks....
     

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