Colour or not.

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by jax99, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. jax99

    jax99 Mu-43 Rookie

    Feb 12, 2012
    Beek, The Netherlands

    I'm a newbie here and been browsing in the Street section. What strikes me is that almost all photo's are in b&w. Do you shoot in b&w or in colour which is processed into b&w?
  2. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    I suspect you'll find some people do one, some the other. There are some trade-offs. If you shoot in B&W (which means shooting in JPEG), it's easier to pre-visualize what the image is going to look like. Maybe. But it also limits the control you have later, if you want to modify the way the B&W image conversion was done.

    If you shoot in color, and convert to B&W in post processing, you have the ability to apply all kinds of filter effects based on the colors in the image (e.g., applying a "red" filter will darken blues, and lighten reds and oranges) in the final B&W image. If you converted in camera, the reds and blues are gone, so you can't easily do that. And note the word "maybe" above. If you're viewing the image in B&W, you're seeing how the camera chooses to convert the colors. It won't necessarily show the dramatic, dark skies you can get by applying a red filter in post, so what you see isn't necessarily what you get.

    I generally shoot in color, and decide whether the image will look better in B&W later, but there is a compromise. If you shoot raw+jpeg, you'll see the jpeg image in the viewfinder in B&W, but you'll have the color raw image to play with in post. The best of both worlds, perhaps, if you know you want the final output in B&W.
  3. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Nice thing about Olympus cameras is that they allow you to apply different filters like the Red Filter which meyerweb mentions. So you actually have that kind of control... but you won't be able to for instance decide later on you prefer a blue filter. However, you'd be able to see the effect of that filter before you shoot so that shouldn't be a big problem.

    I myself prefer to convert to B&W in post so I can use Adobe's Channel Mixer for the best B&W processing. I come from a background in Visual Communications, so this is the method we use on ad designs. Of course, it also gives me a color original to work from, which I may not actually put to black and white (shooting RAW + JPG will do the same for you). :)

    However, I don't shoot much in B&W... if ever, lol. I'm very much a full color guy.
  4. jax99

    jax99 Mu-43 Rookie

    Feb 12, 2012
    Beek, The Netherlands
    Thanks for the quick reply.