Ugly Hedgehog - Photography Forum
Shooting in BW or editing in BW
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Jan 10, 2021 14:26:59   #
Gene51 Loc: Yonkers, NY, now in LSD (LowerSlowerDelaware)
 
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?


Here are seven ways to convert a color image file into monochrome - each has its advantages/disadvantages. Shooting in raw gives you a little more exposure latitude in high contrast situations.

http://vnf-west.nl/BlackandWhite/7BW_PS_Conversion.html

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Jan 10, 2021 14:59:15   #
ORpilot Loc: Prineville, Or
 
E.L.. Shapiro wrote:
`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!
`This raw vs Jpeg argument has yielded many posts,... (show quote)


👍👍 😊 If I was still doing commercial photography and owned the Leica Monochrome, I would still shoot both color and B&W with two different cameras. Like you say, sometimes the client doesn't think about color or B&W until later looking at the proofs. You always have to cover your tracks.

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Jan 10, 2021 16:14:47   #
fetzler Loc: North West PA
 
Ysarex wrote:
As others have noted shoot and convert raw files. You can set the camera picture style to B&W so you see a monochrome image (mirrorless or chimping), but you'll get best results converting the raw file. Here's an example why:

First image below is the color scene. The blue of the clothes contrasts well with the white pillow cases and against the yellow bldg. background.

Second image is the B&W you'd get from the camera unfiltered. It's a less effective photo because you lose the contrast between the clothes and pillow cases and weaken the contrast between the clothes and bldg. If you're serious about B&W then you get serious about how color translates into tone. Back in the film era we had to use filters over the camera lens. Famous examples would be that period when old Ansel got that red filter stuck on his lens. A red filter will turn a blue sky black using B&W film. It will also turn a red rose white. So we carried around a collection of color filters shooting B&W film. In the photo here a yellow filter would darken the blue clothes and introduce needed contrast between the clothes and pillow cases. Unfortunately it would also lighten the yellow house and that would reduce contrast between the house and pillow cases. Using filters over the lens could cut both ways.

Third image is the raw file processed. The color information is recorded in the raw file and so we get control over how color is translated into tone. I could darken blue and I did. BUT unlike using filters over the lens in which a yellow filter would darken blue but also lighten yellow, I didn't have to lighten yellow. I have better, more precise control processing a raw file to B&W than I used to have with film and filters. Likewise processing a raw file to B&W I have better, more precise control than using filters with B&W SOOC JPEGs from the camera.
As others have noted shoot and convert raw files. ... (show quote)


Indeed, this is why to shoot in color (Raw) and then convert to monochrome. You have a lot of control using the color channel mixer and other controls. Indeed, much more so that with colored filters and B&W film.

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Jan 10, 2021 17:21:32   #
burkphoto Loc: High Point, NC
 
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?


You have far more latitude and tonal information to work with if you capture a raw file and convert to monochrome in post-processing. There are many, many ways to do that, the simplest of which is to simply de-saturate the color image. A quick Google of "digital black-and-white photography" will reveal plenty of tips.

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Jan 10, 2021 17:39:50   #
rfbeams Loc: Stanwood, Washington
 
I shoot in b&w when I decide to use a built-in filter; otherwise, I shoot in color and convert to b&w with b&w software. Both work well.

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Jan 10, 2021 17:57:44   #
Hanson
 
Ysarex wrote:
As others have noted shoot and convert raw files. You can set the camera picture style to B&W so you see a monochrome image (mirrorless or chimping), but you'll get best results converting the raw file. Here's an example why:

First image below is the color scene. The blue of the clothes contrasts well with the white pillow cases and against the yellow bldg. background.

Second image is the B&W you'd get from the camera unfiltered. It's a less effective photo because you lose the contrast between the clothes and pillow cases and weaken the contrast between the clothes and bldg. If you're serious about B&W then you get serious about how color translates into tone. Back in the film era we had to use filters over the camera lens. Famous examples would be that period when old Ansel got that red filter stuck on his lens. A red filter will turn a blue sky black using B&W film. It will also turn a red rose white. So we carried around a collection of color filters shooting B&W film. In the photo here a yellow filter would darken the blue clothes and introduce needed contrast between the clothes and pillow cases. Unfortunately it would also lighten the yellow house and that would reduce contrast between the house and pillow cases. Using filters over the lens could cut both ways.

Third image is the raw file processed. The color information is recorded in the raw file and so we get control over how color is translated into tone. I could darken blue and I did. BUT unlike using filters over the lens in which a yellow filter would darken blue but also lighten yellow, I didn't have to lighten yellow. I have better, more precise control processing a raw file to B&W than I used to have with film and filters. Likewise processing a raw file to B&W I have better, more precise control than using filters with B&W SOOC JPEGs from the camera.
As others have noted shoot and convert raw files. ... (show quote)



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Jan 13, 2021 20:24:55   #
frangeo
 
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?


Convert in pp. Lot more control and I can get the image I'm looking for. Hugh difference in output between the two methods.

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