The Curse of Black and White

I’m bewitched by black and white photography --especially black and white FILM/PHILM, that’s why I’m trying hard to mimic the look of it on my D90.

But, alas! After a few months of filmlessness, I bought an old Nikon F3 film MANual focus SLR camera from ebay. Damn it’s really cheap. Finally I can shoot film again! I’m overjoyed. The first film that I loaded into the classic SLR was a Kodak Tri-X black and white film. Black and white FILM mate! Just imagine how awesome it is. After finishing the roll of film I got it developed for about 13 bucks and voila! Here are the results:

Ok that’s like my dream maybe. I shall save it till I get a real F3.. Anyway back to reality (digital):

This is my first serious attempt of shooting in Black and White. Instead of following the common method of shooting in colour and converting the photos into greyscale when post-processing (so that the photographer can have fine control of every single colour channel), I used in-camera Black and White mode (in JPEG of course, as usual): sharpening +9 (maximum, to make it grainy with high ISO), contrast +3 (maximum), and yellow-filter effect (the most important thing). I’m making the photos film-ish, mate. The yellow-filter is important as many black and white film shooters use a yellow warming filter all the time (because black and white films are less sensitive to warm colours).

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Proof that I don’t own an F3.

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I realized that shooting in-camera black and white mode can help me to visualize things in greyscale better because as I shoot along, all the images were recorded and displayed on my camera’s rear LCD as black and white- thus I get instant feedbacks on how my images look like in black and white, and from there, I learn to visualize how would a scene look like in greyscale, and shoot accordingly.

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Another thing about black and white photography is that it is generally contrasty and therefore suitable to shoot in all kinds of weather conditions- like dark, moody days, which colour shooters will whine about the bad weather (like how I used to). Besides, since colour is absent, it means that there are less distractions in the photographs. But, as the photographer can’t make use of colours to isolate a subject from its surroundings, thus he can only make use of shapes, contrast, bokeh, or other techniques to achieve the goal.

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Yes mate, black and white romance.

P.S: Hmm don’t you think that something is missing from the photos? Yes… GRAINS. Grains are pleasing, my friend.

“Those are grains. They’re supposed to be there.”

P.S.S: Love you, my dear =)

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