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mohikan22
mohikan22  102187 forum posts United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
1 Aug 2010 - 9:59 AM

I think B/W makes for a better shot with people. Seems to add more depth and conrast to faces and clothing. which stands out well if you have a plain background.... like THIS one. the colour version just doesnt "feel" right or look right.

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1 Aug 2010 - 9:59 AM

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User_Removed
1 Aug 2010 - 10:10 AM

Another interesting link akh, thanks. I've started a thread for links in the Black & White Group, so I'll copy it over to that as well.

A good example mohikan22. I think this effect is helped by the human tendency to focus on faces - or to create them out of basic shapes, such as in rock formations or tree trunks (pareidolia).

User_Removed
1 Aug 2010 - 10:28 AM


Quote: I tend to use B/W when wanting to emphasise shapes and textures in a subject

As an example I've uploaded this shot to my portfolio (I'm not sure where to upload - the thread, the group or my portfolio - but the portfolio needs filling at the moment).

It's a very cluttered shot, but think the incongruity of the main focus still stands out. Put the colour back and the main subject becomes the big orange gas cylinder and the red generator - you've also got coloured balloons in the background, a big yellow sun shape and people in bright clothes.

The Black & White rebalances the picture. I think the people and balloons still add atmosphere, but they don't dominate.

I like the reflective effect of the silvered door as well, which works better in B&W.

Just Jas
Just Jas  1225733 forum posts England1 Constructive Critique Points
1 Aug 2010 - 12:03 PM


Quote: Also just having B/W television in those days meant that we got used to visualising scenes as shades of grey.

I still prefer to watch some of the old films on tele which are B&W.

When I was a young boy only B&W was available.

User_Removed
1 Aug 2010 - 8:35 PM

There are still films I see, like North by Northwest, that surprise me by being in colour nowadays.

Not many people would choose a Black and White TV now, but we still find it evocative in some photography.

Paul Morgan
Paul Morgan e2 Member 1314927 forum postsPaul Morgan vcard England6 Constructive Critique Points
1 Aug 2010 - 8:39 PM

There`s still the odd film made in Black and White, who`s seen the The Good German

User_Removed
1 Aug 2010 - 9:09 PM

I haven't, but it looks interesting. I wonder what the motivation for film makers is to choose B&W? Is it something about giving it a feel contemporary to the story or about the visual effect and atmosphere it can create?

KenTaylor
KenTaylor e2 Member 92972 forum postsKenTaylor vcard United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
1 Aug 2010 - 10:04 PM

With old films its worth trying to find a copy of `Night Mail` made by the old GPO with verse by W. H. Auden.
A true classc for documentary where the camera man knew all about lighting. Only 24 min but every second counted.

KenTaylor
KenTaylor e2 Member 92972 forum postsKenTaylor vcard United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
1 Aug 2010 - 10:05 PM


Quote: I haven't, but it looks interesting. I wonder what the motivation for film makers is to choose B&W? Is it something about giving it a feel contemporary to the story or about the visual effect and atmosphere it can create?

Very much the latter

User_Removed
1 Aug 2010 - 10:43 PM

When I taught English we used to use 'Night Mail' regularly alongside the poem. It really is very atmospheric - although the whole process is rather redundant nowadays so has less impact. In terms of the film work it is superb and is, as you say, a true classic.

I have though, used Black & White films, such as the David Lean Dickens films, Great Expectations and Oliver Twist, in school and got a completely baffled reaction to them being Black & White. Generally though, once they get started the lack of colour is forgotten and the incredible story telling and atmosphere takes over. The opening scene of Great Expectations over the marshes is an incredible piece of photography.

The beginning is here and the trailer here.


Quote: Very much the latter

I would expect, and hope, this is the case. It would probably fail if not.

Last Modified By User_Removed at 1 Aug 2010 - 10:50 PM
pascalg
pascalg e2 Member 737 forum postspascalg vcard France
2 Aug 2010 - 10:22 AM

hello,

reading this thread reminds me of something I read in a book about black & white : in the early days of colour films, the reproach made about colour was the loss of "reality" !
I take advantage of this message to quickly introduce myself : almost new to bw, I'm learning different methods of conversion (including Lightroom, PS...)
cheers

pascal.

User_Removed
2 Aug 2010 - 12:12 PM


Quote: in the early days of colour films, the reproach made about colour was the loss of "reality" !

A good point - perhaps we need to link to the 'Reality?' Group. Wink I think what is important is that we know what we want to get out of it.


Quote: I'm learning different methods of conversion

I think approaches to the process in digital will make an interesting thread at some point.

ade_mcfade
ade_mcfade  1014728 forum posts England216 Constructive Critique Points
2 Aug 2010 - 12:27 PM

Black and white gives a totally different feel than colour. Black and white cuts to the chase - you see the person, the landscape, the architecture or whatever straight away. With colour, it''s another layer of obfuscation, you see the colour first and may may mask the subject behind the colour.

Conversely, you get scenes where the colour IS the subject - typical landscape at sunset shots would probably not look to impressive in mono, or you'd have to work harder to get it than with colour anyway.

More and more I'm using mono for architecture and portraits - one reason is HDR can cause weird colours to appear, so mono is a way to hide that Wink. Also it gives a more timeless feel to some scenes. It can bring out details in a face if you use blue filters, or make faces soft if you use red...

User_Removed
2 Aug 2010 - 12:53 PM


Quote: With colour, it''s another layer of obfuscation

Neatly put. Smile

On HDR, it's something I have spent a little time on but need to spend more on to get the best out of it in B&W. I can see it being useful, and certainly your portfolio has some excellent examples.

I do find that most of the time I can get what I want out of the tonal range with raw processing a Silver Efex to work on key areas.

I think filters are another key area, and it's probably cheaper doing it digitally, and they don't get scratched. Tongue

pascalg
pascalg e2 Member 737 forum postspascalg vcard France
2 Aug 2010 - 1:29 PM


Quote: typical landscape at sunset shots would probably not look to impressive in mono

I've tried : hardly any comment on bw / comments on colour (even not saturated in PP -eg Velvia...)
the problem becomes : what to do with the blacks? try to find some "architecture" as you mentioned, or a play with light / shadows
I'm uploading an example...

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