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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Everything Looks Worse in Black and White?

The composition of this photo is a little wonky, but I really like the shading and texture. This was shot on black and white film, with my mom and dad's old Canon T70, which still takes really great photos when I have a lucky accident. You can shoot black and white with digital, or simply by desaturating your images in Photoshop. But I still prefer the look and feel of black and white film. Digital black and white still leaves me cold, though I'm sure that in the future I won't be able to tell the difference. Heck, it's possible that I've already been fooled.

Why shoot a Captain Kirk action figure, a box of tissue and a framed engagement photo? I'm pretty sure I was just trying to finish off the roll.

1 comment:

"Whatever Jeffed To Solomon Mirsky?" said...

When you get the chance, take a look at your picture in Photoshop using the Histograms. Many greyscale images that are still in RGB or CMYK mode will retain a small amount of hue (check out the median and average figures for a basic idea). You can boost the curves very slightly in red or blue to make the picture warmer or cooler accordingly.

Likely as not, you may be introducing colour artefacts in the scanning process or in Blogger's infernal picture compression algorythm. Even so, certain combinations of film, paper, and processing will yeild different subtle hues. If Ansel Adams were around, he could deliver a master class on the subject. I reckon you know something about black and white photography from your high school projects. All I can suggest is to avoid switching from 32 or 24 bit colour to greyscale unless you are absolutely required to. Never scan in greyscale unless that's your only option.

As good as an example as any are the copyright free Ansel Adams pictures maintained in the US National Archives. Whoever scanned them in reduced the images to greyscale, so the only way we would be able to look at full colour infromation on these photos would be to order our own prints. Even then, I suspect the colour information would be lost. We'll just have to save up and buy an original Ansel Adams photograph before we will know for sure what colours are introduced (if any) into his gamut.