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Thread: Filters for Black and White Photography

  1. #1
    Moderator Francis247's Avatar
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    Default Filters for Black and White Photography

    Hi All,

    I need some advice for which filters works best for Black and White Portraits Photography? I am not good with my PS skills (a long long way to go).

    Hope to gain some insights. Please advice. Thank you very much.
    莫问前程有愧,只求今生无悔. Time pasts, Places changed, Beauty faded, what is left are Photos of Memories…

  2. #2
    Senior Member icarus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Filters for Black and White Photography

    On film - Dark Red/Orange/Yellow for landscapes, Yellow-Green/Dark Green for portraits
    On digital - Just use PS
    Yngwie J. Malmsteen - "...I've never considered myself a fast guitar player..."

  3. #3
    Moderator Francis247's Avatar
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    Default Re: Filters for Black and White Photography

    Hi Incarus,

    Thanks for the prompt reply.

    I am using a digital though, but with my extreme limited knowledge of PS skills, I confirm cannot make it. I think I will go for yellow-green/dark green filter. Just like to find out which brand of filter is better?
    莫问前程有愧,只求今生无悔. Time pasts, Places changed, Beauty faded, what is left are Photos of Memories…

  4. #4

    Default Re: Filters for Black and White Photography

    Hi Francis!

    You can get HOYA filters as they are available at affordable prices. Or COKIN plastic filters with their 'P' system filter holder. Other brands like B+W and Lee Filters are more steeper in prices.

    For Black & White Portraitures, you can use an additional blue filter which brings out more facial details, especially on older people.

    One last suggestions to you is, get yrself a reference book on Filters. Here's a title, The Photographer's Guide to Filters by Lee Frost. A comprehensive guide to filters and how to choose a filter system and use them. Covers filters for color and B&W photography. Features easy-to-follow reference charts and specially commissioned comparison shots.

    Hope these info help. Cheers mate!

  5. #5
    Moderator Francis247's Avatar
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    Default Re: Filters for Black and White Photography

    Hi Mezzotint,

    Thanks for the good advice. Actually, I wanted to do Black and White Portrait Photography for a friend who is having a push cart business. This will be his final year doing this business as he is switching line. Thought of capturing some good shots of him at the push cart manning his business for memories.

    I will take a look at book. By any chance, is the book The Photographer's Guide to Filters by Lee Frost available in Riceball?
    莫问前程有愧,只求今生无悔. Time pasts, Places changed, Beauty faded, what is left are Photos of Memories…

  6. #6
    Moderator nightwolf75's Avatar
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    Default Re: Filters for Black and White Photography

    since u're doing digital, perhaps u would like to try out this freeware? it does a pretty decent job of simulating the effects of filters.
    http://www.opanda.com/en/pf/index.html

    remember tho - unless u're using the BnW mode (present in some prosumers or DSLR), u'll still have to convert the colour pic into BnW within PS. so, the effects of screw-on or drop-in colour filters might not be dat effective, unlike when shooting film.
    If Life worked on auto mode then manual mode for photography would have never existed.” ― Deeksha Mittal

  7. #7
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Filters for Black and White Photography

    Since you are shooting on digital only, why go for glass filter for b/w, and which only use on b/w film mainly? Do you need to get a film camera body?

    For b/w photography, if you didn’t get the desired contrast on film, it is very hard to ask someone to make a nice print for you, unless you willing to spend money to ask the person to print until it looks right to you or you print it yourself.

    Or you can shoot a normal digital images and use photoshop, channel mixer (by mixing 3 color channel blue, red & green, it acts like 3 color filters) to get desired b/w effect, and without affecting the original images.

  8. #8
    Moderator Francis247's Avatar
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    Default Re: Filters for Black and White Photography

    Hi Nightwolf75,

    Thank you very much. The software is very useful. This will give a good idea on which filter to use. However, my next concern is the lighting at the place. Maybe I really got to figure that out before getting the filter to produce the effect I want. Now is more like translating my thoughts into effects and results.
    莫问前程有愧,只求今生无悔. Time pasts, Places changed, Beauty faded, what is left are Photos of Memories…

  9. #9
    Moderator Francis247's Avatar
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    Default Re: Filters for Black and White Photography

    Hi catchlights,

    Thanks for the input. You are right, I need to get started with PS skills some point in time as I'm taking up digital photography as a hobby. Maybe can use this chance to get down to work.
    莫问前程有愧,只求今生无悔. Time pasts, Places changed, Beauty faded, what is left are Photos of Memories…

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