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Old Sep 15, 2006, 9:33 PM   #1
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I was wondering...

What would be the benefit to shooting in B&W mode if you can change a color photo to B&W post process?



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Old Sep 15, 2006, 10:58 PM   #2
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Good question! On the face of it, if you shoot color and convert to B&W later, you get to have your cake and eat it too.

However, the manual for my Nikon 5700 states: "...Black and White images require the same amount of memory as color images, but show a higher level of detail."

I don't know enough on the subject to argue whether shooting B&W in-camera really does render higher detail, so I'm interested in some knowledgable answers myself.

Grant
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Old Sep 15, 2006, 11:16 PM   #3
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In my experiance, ALWAYS shoot in colour. That way you have the colour information if you need it. If B&W is better, it isn't by a very significant amount.
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Old Sep 16, 2006, 12:33 AM   #4
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granthagen wrote:
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Good question! On the face of it, if you shoot color and convert to B&W later, you get to have your cake and eat it too.
Thanks for the responses so far. My reason for asking is exactly what granthagen said.




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Old Sep 16, 2006, 6:52 AM   #5
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If you shoot in RAW mode set to b&w you can convert your b&W to color in post processing. There are a few advantages to shooting inB&W especially when just starting out in b&W. First off you see the b&W image right when you shoot it, to see just how your colors seperate. It does help you see how different colors reflect light. If you take a picture of a green plant with red flowers, the flower and the green leaves may look about the same shade of gray because they reflect about the same amount of light. Some cameras like my 20D also have some built in color filters for b&w, so you could add a red filter to make the red flower lighter and the leaves darker. Just the opposite effect if you add a green filter.
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Old Sep 16, 2006, 8:35 AM   #6
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I'd always shoot in colour and convert in post processing.

I'm not sure how shooting b&w would produce more detail. All the digital sensors only accutually record in B&W the colour comes from the RGB microlenses covering the sensor. Each pixel is measuring the amount of light filtered by 1 of the lenses so it's the amount of either Red, Green or Blue. The camera or computer uses information from the surrounding pixels to estimate the value of the missing colours for the pixel. Shooting B&W removes this step but the pixel will have only recorded the amount of Red Green or Blue light so some processing must be done to even out the pixels.

I use this technique http://av.adobe.com/russellbrown/ColortoBW.movin photoshop to convert to B&W. It allows me to select howthe various colours in the scene are represented on the greyscale.


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Old Sep 16, 2006, 9:17 AM   #7
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Nagasaki wrote:
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I'm not sure how shooting b&w would produce more detail.
I don't believe shooting b&w would produce more detail either. I believe the advantage is just when you are starting out shooting in b&w helps you see things more in b&w. Not every color image makes a good blackand white image. If you learn more about how tones and light affect the subject you will be able to visualize more easily what your finished product will look like. Ansel Adams visualized everyimage in his mindand knew what the finished product would be before he ever touched the shutter. I usually shoot in color now too, and use a similar workflow as your link shows except I use channel mixer and curves instead of hue/saturation, but I think I might give your way a try too.
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