Shooting B & W

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by BillN, Feb 21, 2010.

  1. BillN

    BillN Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    SW France
    When you want B & W - do you shoot colour and convert in Photoshop or similar

    or do you shoot B & W straight out of the camera

    is there any differences in quality etc., etc, or is B & W just a desaturated colour image

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  2. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Hi Bill,

    I shoot raw and use Lightzone for B&W conversion - our next workshop will heavily feature B&W conversion... should be a great opportunity to share & learn.


  3. ahuyevshi

    ahuyevshi Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 9, 2010
    Berkeley, CA
    I mostly shoot RAW... I have been playing with some of the art filters, but I still find that my B&W conversion works much better...

    I think the in camera monotone is just a zero saturation. The Grainy film filter adds contrast and noise to it.. However I have tried using the monotone color effect just to be able to see the shot in B&W in the EVF while composing.
  4. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    The Oly E-P1/2 has colour filters you can apply to in-cam jpegs... red, yellow, orange and possibly green by memory.


  5. Pelao

    Pelao Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 3, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    I shoot RAW, then, if an image looks like a good BW candidate, in Lightroom run a one-click conversion (takes less than a second). If it looks OK then I go back to the original colour and convert within LR and or with the Silver Effex plugin.
  6. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    I do raw only. It is my intention to do B&W. So if I make a color image, it was a new discovery for me. I don't see/like color.
    Ok, there are many ways to convert to B&W but....
    it all depends on how well your color image is.

    I bring the image into LR, make it look as good as I can in a color image..then use Silver Effex either in LR or in PS.

    If you can swing Silver Effex, I urge you to do so.
    There is a free trial available here....

    Once you try it, you'll rest assured knowing that you can convert anything you want.
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  7. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    OK.. i thought i had posted a response.. but must have got distracted and clicked another window before posting

    i shoot RAW... have the LCD on the cameras showing B/W

    Raw processing is in Aperture... with occasional trips to Silver FX

    • Like Like x 1
  8. rst

    rst Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 25, 2010
    I shoot raw and then have my own presets in Lightroom. But if I go out and plan ahead to do B&W I just use B&W film. That is the easiest conversion for me :wink:

  9. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Like Kevin, I usually set the camera to shoot RAW and show me B&W on the screen/EVF. That's one of the nice things about MFT. A DSLR OVF won't show you B&W.

    The main difference between shooting color and converting to B&W vs shooting in-camera B&W is that converting from color gives you options in how individual colors are handled in the B&W conversion. Our cameras may give us a few "filters" to choose from, but it's nice to be able to make those decisions after the fact, plus there are more options that way. Lightroom lets you tweak each color. For example, in a single image I might assign aqua to a bright tone in order to have a bright tropical sea while assigning blue to a dark tone for a more dramatic sky, all the while previewing the effect of these changes on the conversion.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. bebrox

    bebrox Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 29, 2009
    Jpeg for me on the G1

    I shoot jpeg for B&W as the G1's Dynamic B&W is what I am looking for, that was the reason I bought the LX3, I was enthused that Panasonic had incorporated it into the G1.

    I like that I don't have to spend time in P&P afterwards, sometimes I prefer that that the process has been taken out of my hands as I am never completely satisfied/convinced that my P&P is quite 'there' with B&W.
  11. Iansky

    Iansky Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    The Cotswolds, UK
    Hi Bill,

    I always shoot Raw, convert using ACR in photoshop and once I am happy with the colour version I use Nik Silver Effex to convert to B&W, it is probably the best dedicated B&W conversion tool I have personally ever used and it embeds into Photoshop easily and smoothly.
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