Ugly Hedgehog - Photography Forum
Shooting in BW or editing in BW
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Jan 10, 2021 10:47:44   #
fotobyferg
 
Interesting. I gave my hubby my old Rebel and set it to shoot monochrome RAW. When I imported the images they were all in color, and I had to use software to revert back to B&W. Somewhere I read that RAW only shoots color...but that seems odd.
Ultimately, since hubby only shoots occasionally, I switched from monochrome in the camera and simply make the conversion to b&w in post....so reading people’s comments above was assuring.
Without hijacking this thread, I would be interested to learn what was actually happening when the camera was set to monochrome but the images downloaded in color.
Feel free to PM me here vs muddying up this thread.

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Jan 10, 2021 10:47:50   #
philo Loc: philo, ca
 
If you shoot in color you and convert to bw. if you shoot in bw you can never go back to color.

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Jan 10, 2021 10:55:53   #
Ysarex
 
fotobyferg wrote:
Interesting. I gave my hubby my old Rebel and set it to shoot monochrome RAW. When I imported the images they were all in color, and I had to use software to revert back to B&W. Somewhere I read that RAW only shoots color...but that seems odd.
Ultimately, since hubby only shoots occasionally, I switched from monochrome in the camera and simply make the conversion to b&w in post....so reading people’s comments above was assuring.
Without hijacking this thread, I would be interested to learn what was actually happening when the camera was set to monochrome but the images downloaded in color.
Feel free to PM me here vs muddying up this thread.
Interesting. I gave my hubby my old Rebel and set ... (show quote)


To be able to record color a digital camera sensor has what is called a color filter array laid over the sensor: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayer_filter The array contains red, green and blue filters. When the camera saves a raw file it's saving that color filter data. When the image is processed the filter array is interpolated off into the full color image. There's no physical switch in the camera that can retract those filters and so all raw data will always contain that color infomation.

When the camera is set to monochrome it saves a B&W JPEG which the camera processes from the raw data. In that processing step the color is converted to B&W by the camera software. In the raw file the color is always there.

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Jan 10, 2021 11:03:05   #
fotobyferg
 
Ysarex wrote:
To be able to record color a digital camera sensor has what is called a color filter array laid over the sensor: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayer_filter The array contains red, green and blue filters. When the camera saves a raw file it's saving that color filter data. When the image is processed the filter array is interpolated off into the full color image. There's no physical switch in the camera that can retract those filters and so all raw data will always contain that color infomation.

When the camera is set to monochrome it saves a B&W JPEG which the camera processes from the raw data. In that processing step the color is converted to B&W by the camera software. In the raw file the color is always there.
To be able to record color a digital camera sensor... (show quote)




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Jan 10, 2021 11:03:51   #
rmcgarry331
 
I'm replying here because I think that it's an important point about B&W workflow. When you set a Monochrome picture style (picture control, etc.) in your camera, it controls how the camera processes the raw data to create the JPEG or JPEG thumbnail, imbedded in the Raw file. The camera also imbeds the information about the picture style into the metadata portion of the raw file. Each camera manufacture handles this data differently, so third party raw converters for the most part ignore this information, and process raw files with their default color profile. If you use the camera manufacturers raw converter to process the raw file, you have the picture controls set by the camera as a starting point. In the case of your Canon Rebel, Canon's Digital Photo Professional Software, will give you the processing starting point, that was set by your camera. You can also set Lightroom/ACR to use camera matching profiles when you import/open an image.

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Jan 10, 2021 11:55:03   #
ORpilot Loc: Prineville, Or
 
Currently I convert in PP. Which gives you more controls then telling the camera to shoot on B&W. I have owned Fuji cameras and enjoy it's ability to render B&W film emulations . Someday I'll own a Leica Monochrome and be able to have much better B&W. The Leica Monochrome is about as close as you can get to film in a digital camera. The Leica Monochrome is all shades of gray. It's a fine point but I believe the Leica Monochrome would be the best B&W representative available.

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Jan 10, 2021 11:56:05   #
Picture Taker Loc: Michigan Thumb
 
The pro and con JPG or RAW is a constant of this blog. Some believe you must us RAW and others don't find it necessary. The other point is your visitation, with a Canon (don't know about other brands) if you set up to shoot B&W and record in JPG & RAW you will see the picture in B&W and save in B&W in JPG but, also save in color and RAW.
The idea of seeing in B&W will help you think B&W. I hope this is of some help.

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Jan 10, 2021 12:00:17   #
rmalarz Loc: Tempe, Arizona
 
With all due respect, shooting a color jpg and converting it, using whatever you'd like, is akin to doctoring a Polaroid photographs. The problem presented is lack of data. Shooting RAW and converting to black and white provides far more data and retention of small tonal details.
--Bob
mikecanant wrote:
With all due respect to purists who like to shoot raw, I can shoot in color jpeg and convert to B&W in Silver Efex Pro and make the color jpeg look anyway I like. One quick example attached, converted from color photo above.

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Jan 10, 2021 12:12:51   #
Ysarex
 
ORpilot wrote:
Currently I convert in PP. Which gives you more controls then telling the camera to shoot on B&W. I have owned Fuji cameras and enjoy it's ability to render B&W film emulations . Someday I'll own a Leica Monochrome and be able to have much better B&W. The Leica Monochrome is about as close as you can get to film in a digital camera. The Leica Monochrome is all shades of gray. It's a fine point but I believe the Leica Monochrome would be the best B&W representative available.


The Leica Monochrome has better resolution because it avoids the need to interpolate the CFA. It doesn't offer better tonal response or dynamic range. Without the filters absorbing light the Leica M also gives you an effective higher ISO. HOWEVER it throws you back into the film era use of color filters to control the translation of color to tone. Your comment that the Leica M is about as close as you can get to film in a digital camera is interesting. Is that a good thing? I see the requirement to use lens filters to control the color/tone translation as a big limiting step backwards. I much prefer the added control I have getting that task accomplished in post where I have more options than lens filters provide.

For best possible B&W I would chose a digital camera with a color filter array over the Leica M.

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Jan 10, 2021 12:16:07   #
ORpilot Loc: Prineville, Or
 
Ysarex wrote:
The Leica Monochrome has better resolution because it avoids the need to interpolate the CFA. It doesn't offer better tonal response or dynamic range. Without the filters absorbing light the Leica M also gives you an effective higher ISO. HOWEVER it throws you back into the film era use of color filters to control the translation of color to tone. Your comment that the Leica M is about as close as you can get to film in a digital camera is interesting. Is that a good thing? I see the requirement to use lens filters to control the color/tone translation as a big limiting step backwards. I much prefer the added control I have getting that task accomplished in post where I have more options than lens filters provide.

For best possible B&W I would chose a digital camera with a color filter array over the Leica M.
The Leica Monochrome has better resolution because... (show quote)


Good point. But it would be nice for some Leica Monochrome owners would give their two cents worth..

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Jan 10, 2021 13:16:30   #
mwsilvers Loc: Central New Jersey
 
While you can ultimately do whatever gives you results that please you, the most flexible option giving you the greatest adjustment latitude is to shoot raw, convert to B&W in post and then edit the image.

Remember there is a lot more to making good monochrome images than just desaturating the colors. I may also alter the channel mix, and change contrast, sharpening, and creative vignetting, add color filters, dodge and burn and alter other characteristics of an image in mono to reach my creative goals.

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Jan 10, 2021 13:22:25   #
bwana Loc: Bergen, Alberta, Canada
 
Mark331 wrote:
With all the new technology in DSLR development is it better to shoot in Monochrome or convert it to BW after the fact?

Shoot in color and postprocess to B&W. Much better control over the results!

bwa

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Jan 10, 2021 13:33:23   #
JBRIII
 
This was also covered a few weeks ago. Few things not said now: For a true comparison need two identical in all ways but sensor, b&a versus color, using test charts. The Leica is one of the few of only DSLR available in B&W and costs big $$$$. Do not know if there is a color versus of same. Krontech makes a high speed video camera in both formats, but again over $5000 per.
Astro is an area where B&W versus color is discussed a lot with B&W considered the best for exacting detail. Cameras are often available in both forms, shoot in raw and need computers for control and processing and could be obtained for fewer dollars. That said I have not seen direct comparisons, may be question was resolved to everyone's satisfaction years ago.
A question that would likely still occur is effect of pixel number as most astro cameras have fewer pixels than DSLRs and any close still cost at least a $1000.
I will check and see if I can find any direct comparison.

Conversion of sensor, not changing not mirror for IR, is expensive and at least until recently not guaranteed to work.

I have planned to try debayering some cheap action cameras, but I plan to do way too many things.

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Jan 10, 2021 14:14:54   #
E.L.. Shapiro Loc: Ottawa, Ontario Canada
 
`This raw vs Jpeg argument has yielded many posts, threads and interesting points of view- it's all INTERESTING!

As a commercial photographer, all that is good to know and understand but my job is to avoid problems with clients. Oftentimes the need for black and white images come up as an afterthought- after the job is shot. Sometimes an assignment calls for monochrome and all of a sudden, the need for colour images arises after the fact. So, I routinely, whenever practical, shoot everything in RAW and Jpeg and therefore have the advantages of both and can easily convert to monochrome if required.

There are certain instances when I will soot in MONOCHROMe from the getgo. Here's the reason: Folks who never shot film may not consider "panchromatic rendition". Simply stated, that the way panchromatic film or our digital cameras in monochromatic mode, interpret colours and shades in the grayscale. As an example; if you shoot a red apple on a blue background the complementary colours will provide separation and contrast. In black and white, depending on the densities of the colours, they may register as the same tone of gray in which case I would employ filters. A red filter would lighten the apple and darken the background. A blue filter would lighten the background and darken the apple. This might seem to lie an oversimplification but things like this can be troublesome if left to post-processing and better to be addressed while shooting. I frequently shoot portfolio shots for male models and actors and fashion sessions out of doors. A green filter in monochrome mode will provide more robust skin tomes and lighter foliage- great for mood and reproduction in print. An orange filter will provide kinda alabaster skin tones for the ladies. In the studio, in monochrome, the green filter simulates the effect of the old orthochromatic films in dramatic portraiture. It's old school but I know I have the effect I want as I am shooting- I see it right in the viewfinder!

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Jan 10, 2021 14:16:17   #
CHG_CANON Loc: the Windy City
 
When you change to shooting in RAW, you already know you're a better photographer.

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