7 Replies Latest reply on Aug 26, 2009 9:11 AM by Hudechrome-sd9sPI

    Black and White Photograpy

    eothailand Level 1

      Hi  Is it better to shoot in color and then convert to B/W while post processing or should one shoot in B/W to get better results? Is B/W setting in camera more believable or converting color picture into B/W gives a better result?

        • 1. Re: Black and White Photograpy
          Q Photo Level 2

          Shoot color. Process for B&W.  So many possibilities that way.

          • 2. Re: Black and White Photograpy
            datedire Level 1

            I have read always shoot in colour and then convert in PP, not in camera, as PP is more dedicated to it. Even has a nifty auto level feature.

            • 3. Re: Black and White Photograpy
              Hudechrome-sd9sPI Level 2

              It's always shot in RGB, and either the camera software or external, like PS converts to B&W. So, take command!

              • 4. Re: Black and White Photograpy

                Sometimes I choose to shoot in b/w. The photo appears on b/w on the camera display. But when I open the raw file then on my computer, I see a colour photo. So the colour information is not lost. (Acutally I didn't expect this for the first time I chose the b/w setting on my camera.) Therefore I have to convert all the photos afterwards to b/w (batch action in PS).


                So for me it is just a question of inspiration, since I can see the b/w photo on the camera display directly on site. It is a different kind of seeing/making photos when you and your camera are in b/w mode. Besides, I heard that the contrast information that is captured when shooting b/w is much higher.

                But well, all that depends probably on the camera you are using.

                • 5. Re: Black and White Photograpy
                  Hudechrome-sd9sPI Level 2

                  You don't want high contrast in capturing an image, you want a large dynamic range, so all the info is present. Contrast is then controlled in eithr ACR conversion or PS itself.


                  The color overlay when looking for images has always been the bane of b&w image production, all the way to WH Jackson and earlier.


                  You develop an inate sense for it. Eye popping color makes for bad b&w, like green grass in front of a red brick building!


                  Actually, I just did two images where both the color and the b&w are equally gripping. Neither says: "Pick me, pick me"! I'm at a loss, fer cryin' out loud!

                  • 6. Re: Black and White Photograpy
                    nanimoshiranai Level 1

                    Hm, interesting point of view. Got to admit that I wouldn't hesitate to convert a photo to b/w, even if it was a red house on a green meadow. Sometimes I think that colour can be quite distracting. So when I want the focus on e.g. the texture or something else but not the (popping) colour, then I go for b/w.

                    • 7. Re: Black and White Photograpy
                      Hudechrome-sd9sPI Level 2

                      I had an architectural shoot exactly like that and it was my first project for that architect. He hired me because of my b&w work! The first unfiltered version was deadly, dull gray.


                      I finally shot three versions: One with a Wratten #12 (minus blue) a Wratten 25 (Red) and Wratten 58 (Process Green). I don't remember which he chose, but from that time on, I was much more careful about accepting work as specified w/o first examing the building!


                      Oh, I did go on and do lots of work for him, but he deferred to me as to how to shoot!


                      Of course there was no conversion digitally at that time, and converting from color, (neg or chromes) was unacceptable in those days.