The world of black & white

Started Dec 10, 2013 | Discussions
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Spud0 Regular Member • Posts: 274
The world of black & white

Hey there, I picked up a used x-e1 recently. Previously I've just been a camera-phone + apps guy(i know, I know) so I'm basically a newbie.

I do have some experience shooting with DSLRs and I've dabbled with CS3 though.

My question is this - I'd like to do a lot of street photography and portraits, mainly in b&w, any tips on how best to do this?

Should I get a b&w filter + lens hood for my lens?

Should I do this all in-camera, or is it better to convert it to b&w in PP?

Any tips on what lighting makes the best tones for b&w?

I guess I could post this in general instead of X system, but you guys have been so helpful to me so far in my short stay on this site.

Thanks in advance!

 Spud0's gear list:Spud0's gear list
Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R Fujifilm XF 27mm F2.8
Fujifilm X-E1
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skrause Regular Member • Posts: 146
Re: The world of black & white
1

Hi there,

I have an X100S and use it quite a lot to shoot B&W.

I've set it to save files as RAW+Fine. This way you have the RAW in case you decide after the fact that a picture looks better in color or you decide to PP the RAW file to get a better B&W picture.

I've also saved two B&W presets (the X100S being limited to three presets while the E-1 has seven AFAIK): B&W+red filter and B&W+green filter.

Hope this helps,

Stefan

Spud0 wrote:

Hey there, I picked up a used x-e1 recently. Previously I've just been a camera-phone + apps guy(i know, I know) so I'm basically a newbie.

I do have some experience shooting with DSLRs and I've dabbled with CS3 though.

My question is this - I'd like to do a lot of street photography and portraits, mainly in b&w, any tips on how best to do this?

Should I get a b&w filter + lens hood for my lens?

Should I do this all in-camera, or is it better to convert it to b&w in PP?

Any tips on what lighting makes the best tones for b&w?

I guess I could post this in general instead of X system, but you guys have been so helpful to me so far in my short stay on this site.

Thanks in advance!

 skrause's gear list:skrause's gear list
Fujifilm X100S Fujifilm X-Pro1 Fujifilm X-E2 Fujifilm X-Pro2 Fujifilm XF 18mm F2 R +24 more
baobob
baobob Veteran Member • Posts: 7,222
Re: The world of black & white
3

Should I do this all in-camera, or is it better to convert it to b&w in PP?

I always convert BW in PP using either the BW layer of PS or the Nik Silver Efex Pro plug in

The BW layer allows you to play with colors to improve contrast and light

Nik plug in IMHO allows to get ahuge palette of mid tone from black to white avoiding the all grey and dull of the inboard conversion

-- hide signature --

Good judgment comes from experience
Experience comes from bad judgment

 baobob's gear list:baobob's gear list
Sony RX100 Olympus Tough TG-4 Fujifilm X-T1 Nikon D7200 Fujifilm X-T10 +12 more
Spud0 OP Regular Member • Posts: 274
Re: The world of black & white

baobob wrote:

Should I do this all in-camera, or is it better to convert it to b&w in PP?

I always convert BW in PP using either the BW layer of PS or the Nik Silver Efex Pro plug in

The BW layer allows you to play with colors to improve contrast and light

Nik plug in IMHO allows to get ahuge palette of mid tone from black to white avoiding the all grey and dull of the inboard conversion

-- hide signature --

Good judgment comes from experience
Experience comes from bad judgment

Ok cool, thanks!

 Spud0's gear list:Spud0's gear list
Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R Fujifilm XF 27mm F2.8
baobob
baobob Veteran Member • Posts: 7,222
Re: The world of black & white

Very useful

www.ebay.fr/sch/i.html?_odkw=lh+100&_osacat=0&_from=R40&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.Xlh+100+for+x100&_nkw=lh+100+for+x100&_sacat=0

This will protect the lens from any dust droplet and shocks in a crowd

I have one since the beginning (August 2011)

Just buy the best quality of UV fliter to avoid any flare or distortion (ex HMC Digital Hoya or similar)

-- hide signature --

Good judgment comes from experience
Experience comes from bad judgment

 baobob's gear list:baobob's gear list
Sony RX100 Olympus Tough TG-4 Fujifilm X-T1 Nikon D7200 Fujifilm X-T10 +12 more
kodachromeguy Contributing Member • Posts: 722
Re: The world of black & white

I think the other responses were a bit confusing.  You have two choices for B&W:

1.  Use one of the in-camera b&w modes, in which you can choose different color filter emulations, if you want.

2.  Process the RAW file in any one of several software products and create a B&W file that way.

A good compromise is to record in-camera a B&W jpeg but also save the RAW file, which you can process later.  Then compare and decide which one you like best.  Filters on the lens:  usually most folks only use a polarizer or graduated neutral density.  I had great results with b&w conversion using PhotoNinja software, and I preferred the results to the in-camera b&w (but the in-camera was pretty good).  Enjoy!

-- hide signature --

The Kodachromeguy

 kodachromeguy's gear list:kodachromeguy's gear list
Fujifilm X-E1 Leica Summicron-M 50mm f/2 Fujifilm XF 18mm F2 R Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS +6 more
Al Valentino Senior Member • Posts: 4,740
Re: The world of black & white

Spud0 wrote:

My question is this - I'd like to do a lot of street photography and portraits, mainly in b&w, any tips on how best to do this?

The Fuji B&W modes are great. But I find shooting in color first then using plugins like Nik or Topaz B&W, I own both and you can't go wrong with either. Then just play. The possibilities can be endless.

Should I get a b&w filter + lens hood for my lens?

No filters!!! B&W filters only work with B&W film or monochrome sensors like the Leica Monochrome camera without the bayer pattern.

Digital filters, either in-camera or in software are far better but it is important to understand what it happening with filters. The color filter will make that color lighter and the opposite color darker. Like using a red filter to make a blue sky dark. There is no one color filter that is best, it depends on the scene and were you want to add or remove contrast. The best way to learn is to shot the same thing with your fuji set for bracketing the color filters. One click gets you three variations to examine.

Should I do this all in-camera, or is it better to convert it to b&w in PP?

Either works but the later has more flexibilities (and a little more work)

-- hide signature --

Fuji XE1 w/14, 18-55, 55-200, Rokinon 8mm Fisheye & Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Macro

 Al Valentino's gear list:Al Valentino's gear list
Fujifilm X-E1 Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS Rokinon 8mm F2.8 UMC Aspherical Fisheye +6 more
ACTcyril
ACTcyril Forum Member • Posts: 52
Re: The world of black & white
1

I normally shoot using one of the B&W presets in X100s (raw + fine). This is because I 'see' better in monochrome as the light, highlights and shadows are more apparent(especially during the day)when viewing through the EVF or back screen. I can then make quick changes if necessary to exposure , dynamic range if necessary.

PenPix Senior Member • Posts: 2,327
Re: The world of black & white

Al Valentino wrote:

Spud0 wrote:

My question is this - I'd like to do a lot of street photography and portraits, mainly in b&w, any tips on how best to do this?

The Fuji B&W modes are great. But I find shooting in color first then using plugins like Nik or Topaz B&W, I own both and you can't go wrong with either. Then just play. The possibilities can be endless.

Should I get a b&w filter + lens hood for my lens?

No filters!!! B&W filters only work with B&W film or monochrome sensors like the Leica Monochrome camera without the bayer pattern.

Digital filters, either in-camera or in software are far better but it is important to understand what it happening with filters. The color filter will make that color lighter and the opposite color darker. Like using a red filter to make a blue sky dark. There is no one color filter that is best, it depends on the scene and were you want to add or remove contrast. The best way to learn is to shot the same thing with your fuji set for bracketing the color filters. One click gets you three variations to examine.

Should I do this all in-camera, or is it better to convert it to b&w in PP?

Either works but the later has more flexibilities (and a little more work)

-- hide signature --

Fuji XE1 w/14, 18-55, 55-200, Rokinon 8mm Fisheye & Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Macro

I shoot in colour too and convert to B&W later.  This allows me to adjust different colours locally so I can control the grey level that comes out in the final print.

Al Valentino Senior Member • Posts: 4,740
Color filters in B&W
1

Regarding color filters and B&W. Below is the original color jpeg. Then converted to B&W with a plugin. The only difference is the choice of color filter - as I mentioned above in my post, color filters brighten areas with similar colors and darken areas with opposite colors. Not always obvious which one is best when shooting so either A) Bracket BW simulations or 2) shoot color and decide later. I prefer option #2

Look at the red bucket by his feet, and yellow leaves on tree on left, to see differences in filters

Blue filter (?) darkens warm colors

Red filter - brightens warm colors

-- hide signature --

Fuji XE1 w/14, 18-55, 55-200, Rokinon 8mm Fisheye & Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Macro

 Al Valentino's gear list:Al Valentino's gear list
Fujifilm X-E1 Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS Rokinon 8mm F2.8 UMC Aspherical Fisheye +6 more
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