Black and White

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by southjerseyphotos, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. Quick question.Is there any benefits in taking B&W photos as B&W only in your cameras settings or will you get the same results if you just convert it later after taking it in color? Thank you
  2. You'll not only be able to get the same results after the fact, but you'll be able to get much better results. Keep those RAW files, at least.

    You can always shoot to RAW + JPG, and have the camera make black and white JPGs for you, leaving those NEF files for you to handle with more more flexibility, later. A lot of the wisdom of this depends on what software you're using, your workflow, and your experience (and interest) in taking more control over how your final results are rendered.
  3. Without filters:
    I can see no benefit to shooting B&W in camera. Shooting in color and using the multitude of controls in Adobe Camera Raw or elsewhere in Photoshop allows choice of which color channels go to what in the monochrome image - it's like having a 1000 filters in your bag.
    With filters:
    It depends on some minor differences in the way filters may work (wavelength cutoffs, etc.) but I personally can see no practical difference in post-processing filtering. The obvious exception is polarizing filters which have to be done on the camera whether B&W or color to get the benefits of reducing reflection off surfaces.
  4. Set your camera to NEF and B&W. You are taking pics in B&W, see them that way on your display, so you are in a B&W state of mind......and when you don't like the results, click them to color again in NX2. When you use other software they will appear as color and you can do you own convertion or use Nik color efex.
  5. Shoot raw, color. You'll have a lot more data to work with in CS5 or Silver FX. As for me, I went back to shooting b&w film.
    Kent in SD
  6. If you want to play Ansel Adams with a computer, you have a LOT more room for experimenting with filters, contrast, exposure, etc. when you shoot as a raw file and then do whatever you want to it... including deciding the picture works better in colour after all.
    If you shoot colour JPEG, you don't have as much room to play with contrast and exposure, but you can still play with filters to a great extent. That it's already an 8-bits per channel image limits you more in terms of what you can do with the shadows.
    Nevertheless, I still often shoot straight monochrome JPEG when I already know what I want, and sometimes just because I can and I like to work within limitations. My D3000 does a fine job with monochrome.
  7. I agree 100% with Matt.
  8. I prefer B/W film myself. I look at a scene and try to visualize how the colors will look in B/W, I look at the dynamic range, tones, lines and sometimes use a filter to enhance my vision. Then I take the photo. It's locked on film for the rest of my life and after. I think with digital it's so instant and easy you can just do what you want. It does not matter much.
  9. I agree with Matt, if you dont "see" well in b&w, shoot raw + b&w jpeg and you can later delete the jpeg and convert the raw to b&w if you want the great amount of control you have in post. I second nik silver efex especially if you are doing alot of b&w.
  10. I would go the other way. Shooting in B&W-only forces on one the discipline to learn to see forms and textures rather than letting colours get in the way.
  11. gdw


    The arugment that shooting RAW in color results in better black and white in post processing doesn't hold water. In RAW you are shooting is color regardless of where you have the camera set. In the camera the monochrome setting ONLY affects the jpg which you see on the LCD screen. If you open the NEF in any software that doesn't read the Nikon propriatary file it is going to be in color not black and white. Open in NX it will appear on the screen in monochrome because NX reads the files. The NEF file can be changed to color at any point.
    When I know that I wish to go to black and white, I DO change the camera settings because I want to see the image on the LCD in black and white. That in no way inhibits the ability to do what ever you wish to do in post.
    If you shoot only JPG you are stuck with wherever the camera is set.
  12. Using the B&W modes gets you thinking, seeing and reviewing in B&W.
  13. Some Nikon cameras allow a third way. You can apply effects to pictures after taking, but still in camera. The camera applies the effect to any selected picture in playback mode - sepia, B&W or whatever - and saves the modified picture as a separate JPEG file. That way you can see the picture at the point of shooting but still have a JPEG colour copy in camera as well.
    On my D700 the menu sequence is - Set camera to playback>Menu > RETOUCH MENU>Monochrome>(select from:Black-and-white, Sepia, Cyanotype)>Select picture from thumbnails>Press OK to apply. The image is then saved as an additional file on the camera, with a little retouch icon appearing at the top left on the TFT screen.
  14. Save your precious time - check out Topaz's Black and White Effects! You won't need to use any other B&W tool again!

    Oh, before you buy, find a discount code somewhere.
  15. There is some validity to what Jean-Yves Mead and Sanford Edelstein have said. Sometimes I shoot in black-and-white mode so that I will be seeing and thinking in black-and-white. It results in a different creative process.
  16. good question .... and best answers ... thank all .....
  17. I shoot a fair amount of B&W film and print in the darkroom. I also shoot digital with the final vision being B&W images both printed and on-screen. My suggeston is to shoot color and worry about the conversion later. If it works it works. If not try again.
  18. I recommend shooting in raw, set the mode to black and white, when you take the photo, the play back will be in black
    and white so you will have an idea of the result. When downloaded the images will be in colour, convert them to black
    and white, or you can choose to keep colour. This works for nikon.
  19. Tom,
    Short answer - no advantage for shooting b&w in camera. Lots of disadvantage in fact.
    Long answer:
    For b&w shooting, I shoot in RAW or JPG color, depending on how important it is to me. Then I'll take the file home and run it through Power Retouche. I tested at a lot of conversion tools and that's the one that seemed to give me the best results. The PS plugin has a great selection of all the films you loved - Agfa APX100, Tri-X 400 and such. You can scroll through the different films & settings and watch the preview screen to see what the effect will look like. It's very fast and it's really allowed me to shoot b&w with my D300s again.
    I hated fooling around with the b&w basic conversion in PS - it took so long to get to where I needed to be that I dropped it. When you see the scene in b&w in your mind, you can now get there pretty easy. Many times I've seen a scene that looks totally blah in color but the luminance contrast was great. Example:
    You have to look at things in light instead of color.
  20. Thanks to everyone For your Comments

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