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New Interest in Black and White


StrayCat 16 19.1k 3 Canada
9 Mar 2017 8:03PM
I have been going back through some of my older photo magazines, and there's quite a bit on Black and White photography, mostly converting colour images to black and white in editing software. I have read a few very interesting articles on the subject, and I think I may give it a go; maybe even combine it with another recent interest, abstracts. Here's a little bit of info I just learned, and had never thought about; if you set your camera to record RAW+Jpeg, which I do, and then select monochrome, the jpeg will be monochrome, of course, and can be reviewed on the LCD screen, but the RAW file is in colour. I tried it, and before importing into LR, both files were monochrome, but after importing, the RAW file is indeed monochrome. Does it have a practical use? I don't know. The author of the article said he does that with studio portraits so he can show the client the monochrome image on the LCD screen, and see if they are interested in going that route. Does anybody use this feature.

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arhb 13 3.4k 68 United Kingdom
9 Mar 2017 8:33PM
I do.
I use a 5d dslr to get my settings, using the mono display image for feedback, then use my MF film camera with the same settings.
I do this with natural light and studio flash work.

There is certainly an interest in black and white photography at the moment, both in film and digital.
I am also converting a lot of my previous digital colour files to mono, possibly because I have found new ways to make them look better as mono images.
StrayCat 16 19.1k 3 Canada
9 Mar 2017 9:03PM
I used to use my DSLR to get settings for a Canon film camera, worked great. I'm sure we'd appreciate any input about converting from colour to B&W you can give. I'll be posting anything I find interesting in my magazines.
StrayCat 16 19.1k 3 Canada
9 Mar 2017 9:08PM
Here's a quote from one magazine: "Only after retouching do you convert the images to black and white."

And..."One of the best things about creating monochrome images is that they simplify the photograph, allowing the viewer to concentrate on the subject."
SlowSong Plus
11 9.0k 30 England
9 Mar 2017 9:23PM
Well, I have used the b/w jpeg setting but don't find it particularly useful. Whether you want colour or mono, you're going to actually see the image in colour regardless. With so many ways of creating a mono image I can't see how a b/w image on a screen at the time of taking can make a difference whether you take the shot or not. There are so many options as to how produce a mono image that it seems irrelevant that you choose whether or not to capture a scene because of what you see on a camera screen.
StrayCat 16 19.1k 3 Canada
9 Mar 2017 10:05PM
New to me, that's why I mentioned it. I've been trying to think of a practical use for it, none yet.Smile

Oops! Just thought of one. When you import into LR, if you use LR, the jpeg is B&W and the RAW is colour, so it can save you time if you'd like to see roughly what a B&W would look like. You might see something you like, and otherwise wouldn't have. So there's my new settings.Grin
MGJ 11 372 6
9 Mar 2017 10:15PM
Is it really helpful - the key to a good shot is to know what it is going to look like before taking the pic. And exposing accordingly.

Do you need the screen on the camera to give you that vision? Surely you make the shot look as you want it to look?
Dave_Canon Plus
14 1.8k United Kingdom
9 Mar 2017 10:35PM
I was judging a B&W print competition tonight at my club and asked a similar question. Photographers who are experienced in B&W can visualise a B&W rendition from the colour view so have no need to see a B&W version on the back of the camera which would not be representative of what you would finally produce anyway. If you photographed a scene which contain some bright red against a bright green; the red and green could be similar greyscale tonal value which is what you will get with a simple conversion. The red and green areas would then look a similar grey and thus not stand out as they did in the colour version. When you control the conversion to B&W you can ensure that there is good contrast between these two areas. This is all carried out post capture. The traditional film photographer used to carry a range of colour filters which had a similar effect during capture. In fact many of the B&W plug-ins (Nik, Topaz etc.) offer a simulation of this.

Dave
arhb 13 3.4k 68 United Kingdom
9 Mar 2017 10:56PM
The filters used with b/w film really interest me -
I want to use an orange filter for 2 purposes;
One is to darken blue skies against brickwork in architecture
Two is because it lightens skin tones in portraiture and fashion.

I also want to experiment with the same filter on a dslr, with camera set to mono, to see if it creates the same effect as it does with b/w film,
unless Dave_Canon or anyone else can tell me if it react the same way, before the filter arrives in the post tomorrow?
CBumpkin 12 31 United Kingdom
10 Mar 2017 12:23AM
If LR is the same as PS and has layers, try channel mixer and tick the monochrome tab. You then get a choice of BW filters, including infra-red. Shot a lot of BW stuff, had to get it digitised and found it hard to take an RGB scan and make it look like a darkroom print.

Now with digital and in colour, I first make a colour picture that looks like it should; then convert and think of printing techniques like burn and dodge - not the PS tools, I use selections and layers in curves or levels, gradients ditto, all after using custom settings on channel mixer to get the 'correct' [to me!] paper grade. So here's one done that way, 50 red and 50 green in channel mixer:78186_1489105398.jpg
StrayCat 16 19.1k 3 Canada
10 Mar 2017 12:27AM
I am going to leave my camera set on mono and view the jpeg on the screen of my PC in LR after download, see if it inspires me to go further and do a full conversion. I might not be thinking monochrome at all when I take the image, but might get ideas from the mono jpeg; and of course I'll still have the colour image in RAW. Worth a try, imo. I haven't done very much mono photography, mostly messed about with filters.
StrayCat 16 19.1k 3 Canada
10 Mar 2017 1:18AM
StrayCat 16 19.1k 3 Canada
10 Mar 2017 1:32AM
Have a look at Jill Freedman's work.
Stillbase 8 79 Wales
10 Mar 2017 9:06AM
There is no need to import both a mono jpeg and its colour raw into Lightroom. If you press V, Lr will convert a colour picture to BW, so you can see what it looks like - then press V again to go back to colour.
Dave_Canon Plus
14 1.8k United Kingdom
10 Mar 2017 9:39AM

Quote:The filters used with b/w film really interest me -
I want to use an orange filter for 2 purposes;
One is to darken blue skies against brickwork in architecture
Two is because it lightens skin tones in portraiture and fashion.

I also want to experiment with the same filter on a dslr, with camera set to mono, to see if it creates the same effect as it does with b/w film,
unless Dave_Canon or anyone else can tell me if it react the same way, before the filter arrives in the post tomorrow?



I believe that the conversion in-camera is fixed so, if you add filters during the capture you should see the effect of the filters. I would be interested to hear how you get on though I would still choose to convert a Raw file to B&W with a PS Plug-in myself.

Dave

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