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Thread: B&W photos. can you?

  1. #1

    Default B&W photos. can you?

    Anyone out there wanna share some tips on taking B&W photos using digital camera?

    Like...
    what should I look out for?
    wat type of lighting best?
    wat type of colour good?


    Any tips also can...


    Hope U all can help this newbie improve...

    T.I.A.

  2. #2

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    Turn the dial to "B & W" and shoot.
    OR
    Shoot in colour then desaturate in a fully liscensed copy of Photoshop.

  3. #3
    Member Adiemus's Avatar
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    i prefer to shoot in colour.
    post process in Photoshop to convert to black and white

  4. #4

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    Ehhh...
    I'm actually looking for tips that can be applied before the trigger is clicked...

  5. #5

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    If you have to shoot it, you have to. I don't understand your question, wait for what light? What colour? What to look out for? Do they matter? Everything will be in b/w.(If you want b/w i.e)

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Minoxman
    If you have to shoot it, you have to. I don't understand your question, wait for what light? What colour? What to look out for? Do they matter? Everything will be in b/w.(If you want b/w i.e)
    I know what Areality means..Not every pic is suitable to be turned into b/w. I've read abt some articles which gives exp of b/w pics that turn out nice are usually pics with very contrasting elements in them. Cant rem of the details in that article though.

  7. #7

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    Something new indeed!

  8. #8
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    I personally prefer B&W pictures with loads of contrast, and not just everything in a murky shade of grey. To do that with film, I use yellow/red/green/blue filters to help enhance the contrast between different colours, but I suspect you could do the same thing in photoshop (me digital idiot), and not carry loads of filters.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by ordinaryless
    I know what Areality means..Not every pic is suitable to be turned into b/w. I've read abt some articles which gives exp of b/w pics that turn out nice are usually pics with very contrasting elements in them. Cant rem of the details in that article though.
    Yah...
    99% of the pics I take all look better in colour. Tried to convert them to B&W, doesn't work that well...

  10. #10
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    arhmm i take bnw in film lar,
    wat i normally look out for is contrast, between lighter and darker areas.
    normally take with a red orange or orange yellow filter to enhance contrast when i take in bnw.
    heard something abt the grey thing(thing similar to gray card or sth), so that u can estimate how the colour will look like in bnw, but not very sure wat it is.. havent asked anyone, perhaps u can check it out.., cos normally i go by wat i rem it will turn out to be.
    when i do take in digital normally i will use PS to do the 'darkroom work', like dodging and burning, just as i do the same for my film shots.
    just my 2 cents worth.. hope it helps...
    haha, reading a chinese book on bnw photography i digged up in school now.

  11. #11

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    haha...agree wif kirayamato...

    taking BnW , u need to tink in tones and not in colours anymore...filters part...go back then PS.....but one thing though....i tried the digi workflow for BnW and i still feel tt no matter how hard i try, it cant match film....

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by AReality
    Yah...
    99% of the pics I take all look better in colour. Tried to convert them to B&W, doesn't work that well...
    Have you tried taking a colour slide of a black wall?

  13. #13
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    Hey Areality..

    I do believe we are in similiar positions.. trying to make sense of the whole new world that is B&W...

    From one newbie to another, these are what i look out for:

    1. Composition.. Self Explanatory
    2. Contrast.. frames with a wide range of tones make for great B&W Shots
    3. Form... For e.g, a silhouette of a person, etc etc
    4. Pattern.. Look for geometric patterns in the subject and zoom in close enough to feature the pattern prominently, without losing the viewer to the fact that it is a person.

    Yep... Actually, for the conversion of Colour to BW, I prefer to use the Colour Channel Mixer Filter in PS.. For more info regarding BW, perhaps you can try and find the May (i think) copy of Practical Photography... its on shooting in mono,

    Alternatively, National Library has a lot of stuff on BW.. especially at the library at Taka i think.. that day i went, i was surprised at the number of books about BW Photography.=)

    Hope this helps!

    Cheers

  14. #14

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    Thanks!
    That's quite informative...

  15. #15

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    i don't believe there is a fixed rule or fixed rules or any guide to taking black and white.

    for digital converting to black and white to emulate some form of film is not just using the image->greyscale kind of thing. there's channel mixing involved and you need to know what you're doing with the channel mixing.

    most digital cameras do not have a good black and white function.

    for digital you lose a lot of dynamic range so the kind of tones you get with a digital-color-convert-to-bnw photo cannot match the kind of tones you get with film.

    personally, i repeat, personally, i have problems converting digital colours to match tmax and ilford tones. tri-x is possible though not perfect.



    as for what kind of photos make good bnw photos, i can vaguely tell you..

    1. meaningless photos (can look good in colour too.. like lomography.. but please, i'm not implying that lomography is about meaningless photos... let's not digress.)
    2. when colour distracts the viewer too much
    3. when there's some sort of statement to be made but you can't really make it in colour.
    4. FEEL.


    as for thinking and seeing in black and white... you just got to have the love for black and white to see in black and white before you actually go and shoot in black and white. don't just think "oh i wanna convert everything to bnw today" then you go and shoot. it doesn't really work that way.

    if you really need training, just shoot black and white film. really, shooting almost anything will make it look different from your normal colour shots.


    i hope i've answered your question adequately... all the best.

  16. #16
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    for B&W shooters, how nice to have the vision of a dog? Black and white all the time!
    The equipment can only bring you so far - the rest of the photographic journey is done by you.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by AReality
    Ehhh...
    I'm actually looking for tips that can be applied before the trigger is clicked...

    Hi,

    I shoot BW film mostly but do a little bit of color to BW conversions on my compact digital.

    A lot of darkroom/ps work is normally required to make an image look good, so that's something to consider.

    I am quite lazy, so I use the remove color function on ps to get bw and then play with curves/contrast/grain filters. It suits me fine. Of course, my digital is my play play camera so I am not so concerned with quality. For absolute quality, it is still film, either darkroom printed (which is what I do mostly), or scanned and printed digitally (an increasing number of pros are switching to this but you'll need to invest in good scanners and printers).

    Alan

  18. #18

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    a gentle reminder:

    if you shoot in colour and convert to b/w, NEVER desaturate your photos. Always do CHANNEL MIXING. Channel mixing is the same as using colour filters for b/w photography.

    Open a photo. Do your colour tweaking or contrasting. Add a new adjustment layer: Channel Mixer. Click monochrome. then adjust the Red/Blue/Green Channels. This will give you better control of your B/Ws.
    blog: inbloomphotos.wordpress.com

  19. #19

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    hi just a tip...black and white is a totally different beast compared to colour...I think it is kinda difficult to envision things in black and white when you see them in colour first
    for me when I take a roll of black and white film and contact print it I don't recognise it anymore and the pictures become "new" to me because I don't fully remember the exact scenes I saw in colour anymore. with some practise I get a better idea of what to look for when I wantt o shoot black and white

    personally for me black and white is a great way to capture textures,shapes and light, I don't feel comfortable with even doing photoshop because one of the beautiful thing about black and white film is the grain, it gives a picture character.

    Perhaps a good compromise that won't overwhelm you is actually desaturating a photo and then just using the contrast slider in photoshop.
    that's the equivalent of what you would do in a darkroom, basically change contrast filters on a negative.
    Dodge and burn if you want
    And when you're more used to the style of black and white, start playing around with the channel mixers (basically a flexible sort of post production filtration system)

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