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Capture: Two Tone

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  • Lilith __,

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    My cat when she was just a kitty. She’s grey, but the b/w film reveals subtle pattern, so she’s showing her stripes!

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Nice!

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2539 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe,

    Cool landscpe Jackson. Oddly enough I was doing a think about blackandwhite yesterday and resolved to play with it. I like that you’re Photoshop-idle too Nora.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2896 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

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    A while back I was reading Ansell Adam about all the business about controlling the darkness of different objects on black and white film using colour filters. I've only even had the slightest play with the idea, and that digitally.

    Just tried this with an old shot from a Perilous show at Civic Square, turning down various colour channels as a filter, desaturating and bringing the levels back up to the top. There seem to be exposure issues doing this way compared to sitting with you filters and your large format cameras and your light meters for a few minutes before hitting the shutter.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    As I understand it a a large proportion of your retina is devoted to detecting texture. Specifically changes in texture; colours don't really matter here because the main goal of detection is to support lcomotion and location. It is possible that much of the difficultly and allure is in capturing pleasing arrays that largely feed the implicit part of our brains.

    For me B/W has always punished me most with that "the box didn't capture it" moment.

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    There is a subtle problem with trying to emulate Adams and others work using filters. The spectral response of B&W film is used to enhance the changes. The response of film varies across the visible - and UV and near IR as well. It all depends of what type of film is used. Say for instance, there is a decrease in sensitivity in the red end. Then naturally anything red comes out light on the negative. So if you want to eliminate the blue then stick a no blue filter (which allows red to pass) over the camera and then both the red and the blue is decreased. One from the filter, one from the film response. So the combination of film and filter does the weird things. If I remember correctly the classic is a red filter to darken the skies.??

    Digitally, you already have the "data" and you can only cheat. You can't take out "half the red" digitally. That is, the deep red and red get cut evenly, whereas with a filter it can be gradually changed over the red spectrum. By all means use filters with a digtial camera but I suspect there won't be the same effects as B&W film.

    The response of B&W film is (or used to be) readily available. We spent considerable time sorting B&W film for our multispectral aerial surveys.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1589 posts Report Reply

  • Bryan Gibson,

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    As always, a dodgy digital conversion..

    Palmerston North • Since Feb 2009 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood, in reply to Ross Mason,

    Thanks for that Ross. All that said, you have now got me Googling different ways to cheat... I'm imagining Photoshop photo filter layers are an attempt to mimic actual filters rather than a channel adjustment (and I'd never noticed the option, if my old PS has it). Or a better way for what I was doing above in Photoshop is apparently teh Channel Mixer.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood, in reply to Ross Mason,

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    You can’t take out “half the red” digitally

    In photoshop and related programs, you apply curves to particular channels (possibly also with some form of fancy selection in place to limit what you effect).

    On a semi related note, I discovered the other day that a personal favourite of mine in photo editing software (LightZone) has been made open source (Win/Mac/Linux). I think the ZoneMapper beats Photoshop's curves and it has a bunch of options for black and white conversion

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Greg Bodnar,

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    I like the way that shooting in black and white makes me think about shape and texture. Sometimes I like the results and sometimes I get it horribly wrong, but it does make me think first before hitting the shutter. Also, film lets me step away from the keyboard for a while.

    Wellington • Since Mar 2009 • 15 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Does (did) black and white film capture anything more than colour film? I guess, is there anything different between a photo taken on black and white and a photo taken on colour and converted (any conversion process)?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    When it comes to digital, this is (IMO) the only place that shooting in RAW makes a difference. A RAW version of a file preserves the full colour depth the camera is capable of, then when you convert it down to another format (such as jpg) you can control how much weight to give to different gradations of colour (and by extension, luminosity).

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    Does (did) black and white film capture anything more than colour film? I guess, is there anything different between a photo taken on black and white and a photo taken on colour and converted (any conversion process)?

    Black-and-white film gives more latitude in processing and printing, so potentially greater tonal range in the result.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Nora Leggs, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    A couple of nice wide questions, and I’m sure there will be more technically minded and able people to answer some of that….. I think about an answer and come up against my own technical limitations : )
    But in general I could say that each medium has different qualities, a slightly (or very) different way of recording images their qualities are aimed at acheiving good pictures of their type. You can print black and white pictures from colour negs but they are generally rather soft looking as the colour neg is aimed at producing good colour prints. You can scan colour negs/pictures and convert them to black and white digitally and if you are good at using your software, and if the original picture is suitable you can get good results – probably better than photographically printing it as b&w.

    I don’t know about the more professional digital cameras, but my more compact numbers are geared to producing best quality in colour pictures so all the detail is recorded with this aim. That’s why the monochrome setting seems lack-luster to me – to get a nicer black and white pic out of this setting I’d have to use photoshop or similar, and I’m too lazy.

    Leica are making a purely monochrome digital camera where the sensor and processing is geared to capturing black and white images with a range of tones more like a really lovely black and white film. I know I’m not going to get my hands on one of those…. would be nice.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2011 • 2692 posts Report Reply

  • Nora Leggs,

    Oh, and... nice b&w's everyone - hope you have a whole lot more up your sleeves! Your cat looking like a 40's starlet Lilith : )

    Auckland • Since Dec 2011 • 2692 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Nora Leggs,

    to get a nicer black and white pic out of this setting I’d have to use photoshop or similar, and I’m too lazy.

    Try splitting the colour image to RGB and have a look at the separations - often one of these is a lovely contrasty B/W, way better than a greyscale image,

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Nora Leggs,

    Your cat looking like a 40’s starlet Lilith : )

    Isn't she beautiful? :-) x

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Jonathan Ganley, in reply to Nora Leggs,

    Leica are making a purely monochrome digital camera where the sensor and processing is geared to capturing black and white images with a range of tones more like a really lovely black and white film.

    Leica M Monochrom! Mmmmmmm. With one of these?

    Since Dec 2006 • 234 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Lilith __,

    Your cat has become sculptural: what colour is s/he?

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2896 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Hebe,

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    Your cat has become sculptural: what colour is s/he?

    Colour image provided for reference purposes. :-)

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

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    Water Lillies

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

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    Technically not a Black and White photo, more a photo of Black and White

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • JacksonP,

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    See, I’m learning heaps here.

    Top one I played a little using the curves adjustment on my old PS CS 8.

    The boat shed I used the Shadow/Highlight filter, which seems to allow for lots of variation using the tonal width and radius setting. Fun and games.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 2448 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Lilith __,

    Snap. We have Billy, a very similar but very old grey: part British blue.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2896 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

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    I've just been reminding myself how lightzone works, a Zonemapper filter + a blue filter for example.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

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