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Thread: Best camera settings for Black & White Pictures & Programs

  1. #1

    Default Best camera settings for Black & White Pictures & Programs

    Hi everyone,
    I would like to try to go into more B&W photography as my next area of interest. Just wondering, which is a better choice of camera setting when taking B&W pictures?
    Options:

    1) Take the pictures in Colour in RAW format first then do post-processing via PS, Lightroom, etc
    2) Take the pictures in B&W in RAW format within the camera function (i'm using Canon 60D) then use PS, Lightroom for PP.
    Are there any clear and distinction difference if i take them in Colour first or Directly into B&W. (both RAW format)

    Also what are the common programs that people use to process B&W pics? i already have Photoshop Elements 9, do you think i should upgrade to Lightroom / Silver Efex Pro 2 ? are they worth the money ?
    Any comments are most welcome ..
    Cheers!
    Last edited by Ricardo Ong; 23rd April 2011 at 01:48 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member digitalpimp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best camera settings for Black & White Pictures & Programs

    Hi,

    I'd go for #1, since #2 is actually pointless because Picture Styles only apply to JPG formats. When shooting in RAW, the preview you see on your LCD is just an interpretation of what your photo would look like if Picture Styles were applied, but once opened in image editing softwares (except Canon DPP), it will all be in colour. Try it and you'll see.

    Some people do shoot B&W in-cam in RAW. Reason is they want to immediately see how the effect would appeal to them. I still I find it inane. Some do RAW+JPG so they will have an instant in-cam processed B&W and a colour RAW to play with. Not my cup of tea. Your choice, though. It's a free world.

    I've been using Silver Efex Pro for a couple of months now and it's simply outstanding. I won't go into detail but I hope he speaks to you.





    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by digitalpimp; 23rd April 2011 at 05:05 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member edutilos-'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Best camera settings for Black & White Pictures & Programs

    #2 is silly because the in-camera BNW setting is not customised for the scene.

    Believe me, if you do BnW differently, it will make a world of difference.

    Silver Efex Pro is good. If you're not willing to spend the money, the ol' Channel Mixer + Burn/Dodge does a great job too.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Best camera settings for Black & White Pictures & Programs

    @TS:
    Definitely #1. Picture Styles don't apply to RAW files, what you see on your camera LCD is a JPEG preview of the processed RAW file, so you will see the B&W image. However, in-camera processing hardly ever get the kind of B&W looks I want; they usually process very flat B&W photos that are hardly appealing.

    Quote Originally Posted by edutilos- View Post
    #2 is silly because the in-camera BNW setting is not customised for the scene.

    Believe me, if you do BnW differently, it will make a world of difference.

    Silver Efex Pro is good. If you're not willing to spend the money, the ol' Channel Mixer + Burn/Dodge does a great job too.
    After using Silver Efex Pro in Lightroom, I've yet to see anything that Lightroom cannot do that Silver Efex Pro can, other than presets. If the presets (especially film presets) are important to you then I guess you can plonk your money down on Silver Efex Pro, but generally Lightroom can produce similar effects, you just have to know what things to touch.

    The adjustment brush tool in LR works a bit like the control point tool in SE Pro. Clarity works a bit like Structure. The temperature slider can be used to change the look of your B&W, so that works a bit like film type.
    Last edited by brapodam; 23rd April 2011 at 09:51 AM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member edutilos-'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Best camera settings for Black & White Pictures & Programs

    I don't have Lightroom, I use the Silver Efex Pro plug-in for Photoshop.

    Anyways, there is nothing the plug-in can do that Photoshop cannot, but it's a time-saver.

  6. #6
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best camera settings for Black & White Pictures & Programs

    There is no B&W RAW. RAW is RAW, and it comes with color information.

    So approach #1 is the best route.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Best camera settings for Black & White Pictures & Programs

    Hi guys,

    Thanks for all your comments, i am quite keen to grab a copy of the Silver Efex Pro 2 ...but I'm unsure how about to get it...
    cos apparently, our local Challenger IT shop dont carry...

    so how about did you guys get it?

    ie purchase over amazon.com? or directly from NIK software? how much did you guys pay for it and the delivery time ?

    cheers!

  8. #8
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best camera settings for Black & White Pictures & Programs

    Quote Originally Posted by Ricardo Ong View Post
    Hi guys,

    Thanks for all your comments, i am quite keen to grab a copy of the Silver Efex Pro 2 ...but I'm unsure how about to get it...
    cos apparently, our local Challenger IT shop dont carry...

    so how about did you guys get it?

    ie purchase over amazon.com? or directly from NIK software? how much did you guys pay for it and the delivery time ?

    cheers!
    I tried silver efex pro, but I did not like it.

    In the end I am back at using channels.

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