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Thread: HOW-TO: Black and White photo taking

  1. #1

    Default HOW-TO: Black and White photo taking

    Hi folks, im new into this, so need some help here.

    Im using a canon eos300 with 28-90mm and 75-300mm lenses, 420 flash. i wanted to take black and white photo of my baby boy, what kind of setting should i go for? And what kind of black and white film is good? iso? do i need filter?

    Please advice. So at least from you folks' advice i can do some trial and error.

    So that is it, i dont wanna spend additional money to buy lenses, at least for now. So i hope and i will see what the current lenses i had can do.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
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    Welcome to B&W photography!

    Settings are similar to colour according to film speed and exposure values.

    Film I recommend Kodak TMAX 100 or 400 if you don't mind the grain.

    Filters wise I recommend you get a red filter for shooting your baby. Shld give the skin tones a better contrast.

  3. #3

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    Thanks for the advice. I have heard that using iso 400 film getting better result if u manually adjust the camera setting to 100 or 200, is it true?

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    Quote Originally Posted by monty_shark
    Thanks for the advice. I have heard that using iso 400 film getting better result if u manually adjust the camera setting to 100 or 200, is it true?
    You mean push the film? Oso can... I haven't tried though so dunno the results

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by monty_shark
    Thanks for the advice. I have heard that using iso 400 film getting better result if u manually adjust the camera setting to 100 or 200, is it true?
    Yes. ISO 200 to 320. You will be better able to capture the details, and have finer grain and better tonality. You need to under-develop the film (pull-processing) to bring out these details.

    About the filters, I have no experience, but from this website it seems you should use a blue filter instead?

  6. #6

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    hmm..think i will try couple of color filters. also mentioned here by andylee on yellow-orange filter. well, at least now i can start to play with it them.

    thanks all

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    Quote Originally Posted by StreetShooter
    Yes. ISO 200 to 320. You will be better able to capture the details, and have finer grain and better tonality. You need to under-develop the film (pull-processing) to bring out these details.
    You should almost always overexpose when shooting B&W film. There are a couple of reasons for this...

    1. Modern meters are not really suitable for B&W film
    2. It is always preferable to have an overexposed negative then an underexposed one when printing


    The user above is assuming that modern TTL meters are accurate for B&W film. Unlike what he states, don't pull-process the negative. If you are shooting with a fairly modern camera and you overexpose by 1/2 to 1 stop, chances are you are exposing the film correctly and need no adjustments in developing the negatives. If some images turn out overexposed, it's okay. A great print can still be made from an overexposed negative, but the same can't be said for one that's underexposed. Do any development adjustments at the printing stage. Don't pull-process the negs.

    Other tip in shooting B&W: if spotmetering, meter the shadowed area and not a midtone. On that note, never meter from a grey card.
    Last edited by OpenLens; 21st September 2003 at 09:43 PM.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by OpenLens
    You should almost always overexpose when shooting B&W film. There are a couple of reasons for this...

    1. Modern meters are not really suitable for B&W film
    2. It is always preferable to have an overexposed negative then an underexposed one when printing


    The user above is assuming that modern TTL meters are accurate for B&W film. Unlike what he states, don't pull-process the negative. If you are shooting with a fairly modern camera and you overexpose by 1/2 to 1 stop, chances are you are exposing the film correctly and need no adjustments in developing the negatives. If some images turn out overexposed, it's okay. A great print can still be made from an overexposed negative, but the same can't be said for one that's underexposed. Do any development adjustments at the printing stage. Don't pull-process the negs.

    Other tip in shooting B&W: if spotmetering, meter the shadowed area and not a midtone. On that note, never meter from a grey card.
    That's interesting. Must try it out.

    My advice on overexposure and undervelopment was derived from Bruce Thornton's advice here (and not from experience, which is far superior to quoting someone else):

    http://www.barry-thornton.co.uk/2bath.htm

    His other articles listed under "Technique" are also quite interesting.

    Do you use the Zone system?

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    Quote Originally Posted by StreetShooter
    Do you use the Zone system?
    My subject preference (culture & people a.k.a. "street shooting") doesn't allow that kind of time to setup an exposure by zoning. That's why I use the technique I described above, which is actually the "general rule relative" of the zone system.

    When Adams first started spotmetering and was developing the zone system he noticed that his average calculated exposure was a stop less (ex EI200 for ISO400 film) then the exposure recommended by an overall reading of a scene.

    Actually, the technique we both described is almost the same with the difference that it is better to risk an overexposed area of a scene then an underexposed one. The premise is that you can still create excellent prints from negatives that have overexposed areas (as the area has full detail and just needs some dodging) but can only create "okay" prints from negatives with areas of underexposure (as there is little or no detail recorded...and you can't "create" detail through burning).

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    monty_shark, since you say you're a beginner, i'd suggest you try some of the chromogenic (i think that's how it's spelt) films like Kodak T400CN or Ilford XP2 400... at least you can develop those at most colour labs instead of paying extra to get it developed or trying it yourself (i'm assuming here you don't have any darkroom or developing equipment...)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry
    monty_shark, since you say you're a beginner, i'd suggest you try some of the chromogenic (i think that's how it's spelt) films like Kodak T400CN or Ilford XP2 400... at least you can develop those at most colour labs instead of paying extra to get it developed or trying it yourself (i'm assuming here you don't have any darkroom or developing equipment...)
    There still is the printing factor. Chromogenic B&W films do print better on colorlab machines then regular B&W negs, but for a good print you still need to do so on B&W paper.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OpenLens
    There still is the printing factor. Chromogenic B&W films do print better on colorlab machines then regular B&W negs, but for a good print you still need to do so on B&W paper.
    Agree with Brian. Chromogenics are a pain to print in a traditional darkroom. But I love the beautiful creamy tones of chromos, almost grainless on medium format.

    Monty shark, go ahead and shoot traditional b/w. There are labs, or at least people, around who can process it for you. Ruby, Fee Fee, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ansel
    Agree with Brian. Chromogenics are a pain to print in a traditional darkroom. But I love the beautiful creamy tones of chromos, almost grainless on medium format.

    Monty shark, go ahead and shoot traditional b/w. There are labs, or at least people, around who can process it for you. Ruby, Fee Fee, etc.

    Mind sharing why printing CN films a pain in a traditional darkroom? I am interested to know.

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