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Old May 21, 2011, 3:15 PM   #1
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Default Rule of B&W

Whenever I intend to capture B&W photos, I always shoot in color rather than have the camera automatically convert the image into B&W for me.

I always shoot in color because I've been told that color images later converted during post-editing on software retain better quality and contrast than the greyed-out B&W photos from the camera.

What is your take on this?
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Old May 21, 2011, 3:55 PM   #2
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You can always do both as I do. I shoot buildings in both, people, most things. Sometimes I take color photos and change them to BW.
The only thing I have a problem with is getting a 'true' BW print. Sometimes the print looks almost sepia.
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Old May 21, 2011, 8:00 PM   #3
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If your camera has live view or electronic viewfinder, setting the camera for B&W should give you a B&W image, and for most people, it is easier to judge the lighting and contrast that way. If you are experienced in B&W, having a color VF isn't too much of a handicap.
In my experience, converting to monochrome in the camera doesn't lose any significant quality vs doing it in PP. The only fly in the ointment, is that you may decide you want it in color, and if it came from the camera in monochrome, you are more or less out of luck.
Getting really good grayscale prints from color inkjet printers can be difficult unless the print driver has a 'black ink only' option. Even if you get the mix right one time, if you change cartridges, it can change the tint.

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Old May 22, 2011, 9:46 AM   #4
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I'll either shoot raw (color) or raw plus jpg with the camera set to produce a b&w. Then I have the best of both worlds - a color I can do whatever I want with and a b&w preview that will give me an idea of what I'm going to get.

You have a lot more latitude if you are doing the b&w conversion with software instead of letting the camera do the conversion. The more full-featured photo processing programs now allow you to influence a particular color - I once took a picture of a playground, then changed how light/dark the bright yellow steps were. It's amazing how you can change the feel of a picture that way.

It's just as easy to add/change contrast to an in-camera b&w as it is to a software converted one, and sharpness won't be different, but I like having the extra latitude you get with doing it by software.
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Old May 22, 2011, 10:22 AM   #5
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Same here, like orange filter, which is my favorite.
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Old May 24, 2011, 6:59 AM   #6
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There are lots of ways to do B&W. In post processing, you can pick the one you like better. In camera, you're stuck with the one the camera uses.

... and if you don't like it, you've got nothing.
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Old May 24, 2011, 8:16 PM   #7
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The real trick is learning to see in B&W

Since I'v gone digital there have been many times I have thought "This will be great in B&W" only to find I like the color version better So I shoot in RAW

This is one of the best plug-ins I have found for photoshop It does great B&W conversions as well as color effects. And the best part.. Its a free download.

http://www.optikvervelabs.com/
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Old May 25, 2011, 7:05 PM   #8
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How does shooting in RAW help B&W?
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Old May 25, 2011, 7:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saltine713 View Post
How does shooting in RAW help B&W?
With a RAW file you are saving all color information. As I said some times you think you want B&W but the color works better in the end.
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