Rethinking 4/3 Depth Of Field

Started Apr 11, 2013 | Discussions thread
al_in_philly
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Re: Off Topic : what B&W does.
In reply to aljudy, Apr 12, 2013

aljudy wrote:

You are obviously fascinated (passionately about) B&W photography. While my post is not related to your wonderful post about DOF, I would like to hear your reasons for this B&W focus that I see in your Flickr photos, and what is it about B&W vs color that makes you choose B&W apparently all the time. Have you considered the Monochrome camera by Leica?  Al

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Amateur Photographer of family mainly

It's funny, but my tastes for color and B&W seem to come and go in waves.  5-6 years back I was in what I call my "Fujichrome Phase," where I was tweaking imy colors to emulate the vibrance I used to get when shooting with Fujichrome film.  Now it's B&W and have been for a while.

What pushed me into B&W was shooting at a sideshow troup (Squidling Brothers, Carnivolution Side Show) performing outdoors at night.  Typically the lighting was by either the red stage area lights, an occaisional spotlight, or one of several plain light bulbs spread far and few around the courtyard where the act was playing.  The colors went from bad to awful.  Here's an example of some girls in the audience waiting for the show to begin: http://www.flickr.com/photos/alsphotography/4983526260/ .  Not only was the red colr problematic, but since it was only 1 out of 4 sensor elements getting light, the low light noise that my camera already produced was accentuated.  I tried shooting with a strobe at first but not only did it really impact the flow of the crowd, I was afraid it might throw off the performers as they did things like juggle flaming batons, etc.  Converting to B&W allowed me to (1) get rid of distracting coloring, (2) make the noise appear more like film grain, and (3) tweek the various color channels to enhance subtle details and shading.  Here's that same photo after conversion: http://www.flickr.com/photos/alsphotography/4982180658/.

After I got the hang of it, I really enjoyed shooting at night without a flash, and began doing more of it.  The B&W sort of followed me along that path.  As I did more and more, I learned to especially enjoy the emphasis on light and shadow which B&W forces the viewer to focus on.  And, well, I'm still enamoured with it.  But don't ask me what I'll be doing 6 months from now, as often after I feel that I've explored a medium or subject as fully as I can, I then move on to something else.  But that's just me.

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