Black and White in Digital

BBW

Super Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Jan 13, 2010
Messages
6,229
Location
Near "Playland" outside of NYC, NY, USA
Since I'm new to really truly using digital, besides with a point and shoot camera, I've been really interested to learn more about how digital works with black and white - and since Amin set up this nice forum which clearly hasn't been getting enough use, I thought I'd post a thread here in hopes of gleaning an education from some discussions.

I don't own Photoshop or anything else, really. Right now all I have is the iPhoto software on my MacBook Pro so I'm really a neophyte. I may well find it's "good enough" for me, but in the mean time I'd love to hear from you all who already use your cameras for black and white.

What do you do, is it always best to process it in your computer with software vs in camera?

What are the different softwares you use and why do you like one vs. another?

I just found this article which I'm sure will be helpful: http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/article_pages/intro-digital-black-and-white.html though I know nothing about Mr. Cooper.

Any and all pointers welcome on this trek into the new photography. :popcorm2:
 

Brian Mosley

Administrator Emeritus
Joined
Dec 15, 2009
Messages
2,998
Hi BBW,

I use Lightzone for all of my B&W conversions... it has a very simple B&W tool, well worth a trial - and we've had a generous discount for Olympus Photo Safari Group members (which you can access here.) - note, let me know if you take the trial, and I'll try to get the discount renewed.

Lightzone is a wonderful post processing application, and excellent value for money.

Cheers

Brian
 

Streetshooter

Administrator Emeritus
Joined
Dec 15, 2009
Messages
5,138
Location
Phila, Pa USA
There are many ways to convert. I'm using Nik Software's Silver Effex.
It will plug in to Photoshop or Lightroom and for you, it's also a stand alone program.
At the moment and probably for some time, there's nothing better.
Shooter
 

Amin Sabet

Administrator
Joined
Apr 10, 2009
Messages
10,864
Location
Boston, MA (USA)
There are many, many ways to convert to B&W in digital. I have tried quite a few of them, and I still don't consider myself very good at it. I still find it much easier to get a pleasing B&W look in film than I do with digital.

For the most part, I just use the built-in B&W conversion tools in Lightroom, but I also like Alien Skin Exposure for B&W conversion. Alien Skin Exposure, while costly, is a very cool program. It allows you to simulate a variety of film stock, both color and B&W. While I'm not sure the simulations are accurate, I enjoy trying them out on different photographs and seeing the result.
 

BBW

Super Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Jan 13, 2010
Messages
6,229
Location
Near "Playland" outside of NYC, NY, USA
Appreciate your plug for Lightroom, too, Amin. I was just looking at their demonstration videos... I enjoyed their "zone mapper", among other things. It seems as though it is fairly easy to learn and though it may not have as many options as say Photoshop, that's probably a good thing for me. I'll check out the other software you mentioned as well.

At this point I'm reading and learning and bookmarking.:wink:
 

Amin Sabet

Administrator
Joined
Apr 10, 2009
Messages
10,864
Location
Boston, MA (USA)
Appreciate your plug for Lightroom, too, Amin. I was just looking at their demonstration videos... I enjoyed their "zone mapper", among other things.
Actually, the zone mapper is for LightZone (Lightcrafts product), not Lightroom (Adobe product) :smile:. These days, I do almost everything in Lightroom (version 3 beta).
 

BBW

Super Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Jan 13, 2010
Messages
6,229
Location
Near "Playland" outside of NYC, NY, USA
Right, sorry about that!

I've been reading about Lightroom too, as well as Photoshop Elements. So many choices!:eek:

Since I have a Mac I was wondering about which would work best and not be too overwhelming, and possibly work with iPhoto - though in time I may not care about iPhoto anymore... Research shall continue and hopefully more helpful info here, to.:thumbup:
 

Streetshooter

Administrator Emeritus
Joined
Dec 15, 2009
Messages
5,138
Location
Phila, Pa USA
Well, at least ya have a Mac. That's a break.
You can download LightRoom for free and try it out.
There are many free Adobe movies you can watch to get a grasp on the program but really, ya just need to thing about what you want to do, then do it.
It's like a Mac, very intuitive....
Shooter
 

Vidar

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Dec 31, 2009
Messages
545
Location
Bergen, Norway
I love B&W:smile:

I use Lightroom for B&W conversion, I still use Iphoto to organize all my pictures. This works well for me.

Feel Lightroom gives me great controll over the greytones so I have never felt any need for any plugins, so I have never tried any of the ones mentioned above.
 

Vidar

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Dec 31, 2009
Messages
545
Location
Bergen, Norway
There are many, many ways to convert to B&W in digital. I have tried quite a few of them, and I still don't consider myself very good at it. I still find it much easier to get a pleasing B&W look in film than I do with digital.
I see your point Amin and I agree. I too like best the B&W look film gives. When converting digital pictures to B&W I have stopped trying to make it look like film, I just get the tones I like. I feel that that digital never can look like film (despite filters and plug-ins, which can give great effects), and thats okay.

Thats one of the reasons why I still shoot film.
 
Y

Yves D.

Guest
I just found this article which I'm sure will be helpful: http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/article_pages/intro-digital-black-and-white.html though I know nothing about Mr. Cooper.
Hi,
The link you provide is a good place to learn B/W conversion. Lots of differents techniques for differents results.

I personally use Power retouche plug in for b/w and are satisfy with it.
... if you ever take the plunge into Photoshop. ;-)

http://powerretouche.com/Black-white_plugin_tutorial.html

have a good day.
 

F1L1P

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Jan 2, 2010
Messages
392
Location
Europe
There are many ways to convert. I'm using Nik Software's Silver Effex.
It will plug in to Photoshop or Lightroom and for you, it's also a stand alone program.
At the moment and probably for some time, there's nothing better.
Shooter
Agree :thumbup:
Great piece of software. Here's my work example:
<param name="movie" value="http://backend.deviantart.com/embed/view.swf" /><param name="flashvars" value="id=148479577&width=1337" /><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><embed src="http://backend.deviantart.com/embed/view.swf" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="450" flashvars="id=148479577&width=1337" height="531" allowscriptaccess="always"></embed></object><br /><a href="http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/148479577/">carpe diem</a> by ~<a class="u" href="http://f1l1p.deviantart.com/">F1L1P</a> on <a href="http://www.deviantart.com">deviant</a><a href="http://www.deviantart.com">ART</a>
Model:DMC-G1
Shutter Speed:10/2500 second
Aperture:F/10.0
Focal Length:28 mm
ISO Speed:160
 

rst

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Jan 25, 2010
Messages
109
Location
Germany
It is the same with me. The easiest way for me to get B&W images is to use B&W film and to print in the darkroom. I do not like to mimic film look with my digital captures. It is different media. That does not mean that an image comming from film looks better than a digital B&W image, but it looks different. That's all.

Edit: I forgot to mention, I use Lightroom to do my digital b&w conversions. Lightroom gives me enough flexibility to achieve what I want and it fits into my workflow.

Cheers
rst

... I too like best the B&W look film gives. When converting digital pictures to B&W I have stopped trying to make it look like film, I just get the tones I like. I feel that that digital never can look like film (despite filters and plug-ins, which can give great effects), and thats okay.
 

Elliot

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Jan 22, 2010
Messages
38
Location
NORTHERN VIRGINIA USA
This is a great thread - Black and White is just incredible to shoot

I love black and white and grew up in the darkroom in New York with my dad, a very very long time ago. Later on in life a taught a few classes in it, but today I shoot digital black and white and use lightroom plus Nik Silverefex and it really does a wonderful job. I use Canon printers and many of the new papers and the black and white tones are hard to beat. ((I shall post images soon)) I am also working with a converted EP1 and just began to play with it for infrared. www.spencerscamera.com.

Also, if I may put in the plug engine to my web site, my company Blue Ridge Workshops is giving a3 day digital black and white workshop in Sheandoah Mountains, with our base in Sperryville Va. If you are interested perhaps you would like to take a look here.

http://www.blueridgeworkshops.com/workshops/black-and-white-a-disregarded-art-a-rebirth-with-even-more-creative-controls-for-the-serious-photographer-wanting-to-make-a-statement/


And by the way, I have sever Intel Macs running and love the Macs too.
 

grcolts

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
363
Location
Texas
Real Name
Gary
Bibble 5.01

I have not tried Lightroom but have used Bibble for a while. The newer version, Bibble 5.01 is an interesting program. It has a really good black & white section which I enjoy a lot. The program is new so all the features that was in version 4 are not there yet, but what is there is so much better. It runs really fast on my older G4 IMAC. Check out their website-just google Bibble 5 to find it. I think you will like it.
GR

Right, sorry about that!

I've been reading about Lightroom too, as well as Photoshop Elements. So many choices!:eek:

Since I have a Mac I was wondering about which would work best and not be too overwhelming, and possibly work with iPhoto - though in time I may not care about iPhoto anymore... Research shall continue and hopefully more helpful info here, to.:thumbup:
 
Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Mu-43 is a fan site and not associated with Olympus, Panasonic, or other manufacturers mentioned on this site.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Copyright © 2009-2019 Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom