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Special treatment of shots for B&W conversion?

Discussion in 'Retouching and Post Processing' started by Steve S, Oct 14, 2005.

  1. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    is there any special exposure treatment of shots if you know they're going to be converted to B&W in post?
  2. Steve, I would expect that the normal rules apply. If there is something special you want to achieve in your conversion (there are so many ways to convert), I guess you'd want to keep that in mind. If what you want to shoot has a lot of tonality (eg. shades of gray) or sharp contrast, that might help too.

    I'm not an expert on this. I hope others will have ideas for you.

    aka beaucamera
  3. Robin Roddy

    Robin Roddy Guest

    Nothing too special...

    I wouldn't call it 'special', per se, but I think it's even more important to get exposure as perfect as possible for pics that you want to convert to B&W. In particular, having deep, rich blacks and bright, lively highlights can really make a B&W. Black and white is all about tonal range, I think, so nailing it is important.

    I also believe that B&W is flattered a bit more by a little extra contrast than colour photography. You can keep that in mind while shooting, or just bump it a bit in PP.
  4. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  5. Bob Coutant

    Bob Coutant Moderator Moderator

    May 17, 2005
    Pleasantville Ohio
    Paul, one of our local photography instructors would advise taking your advice one step farther. His attitude was that if you can get it right in black and white, it'll look even better in color. For that reason, he always did his first level critique with B&W versions. In other words, plan all of your images as though they were going to be B&W's. That way, the basic framing and compostion are independent of color distractions, and the color becomes merely the icing on the cake.

    Now, if only I had the wisdom and the patience to do that. :redface:
  6. cwilt


    Apr 24, 2005
    Denver, CO

    There is a big difference in my thought process from a shot that has the color removed and one that is planned for B&W. Iliah told me that before you can see color you need to see light. I try to apply this to my planned B&W images. I look for contrast lighting while mainting the softness I like for portraits. Sometimes I will deliberatly blow the highlights, which is normally a sin in color work. Even high ISO noise can add to a B&W image.

    For post processing I usually make two or even three versions and blend with masking to accent parts of the image.

    My moto, is "See it and make it so". I imagine the final image I want and apply what little skill I have to make it happen.

    Just my opinion and everyone has thier own unique way of doing things.
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