Black & White vs Colour

Do you shoot in Black and White (B&W) or Colour? With digital cameras the question assumes less relevance, if you shoot RAW files then you can apply whatever you like in post processing. However I think it pays dividends to examine the differences and “think” in one style or the other.

On my website I have largely displayed B&W images. I’ve arrived at this after a few years of shooting different styles of photography and using different cameras and software. I was predominantly a Nikon shooter initially JPEG then after realizing the benefits of Raw moved to that. My workflow involved importing the files into Lightroom then exporting to Photoshop Elements and applying several layers of Google Nik software. Fast Forward three years, I now use a Fujifilm camera, I still shoot RAW files and use Pro Neg. After Lightroom import I now apply Kodak 400 Tri X from Silver Efx Pro (Which is now Free).

I tend to see in B&W now. Remember photography is all about making an image, not just snapping what is there. I visualize what I will eventually see in print or on the screen before I click the shutter. This becomes second nature after a while so son’t worry if that’s not happening just now. Fujifilm have some excellent Jpeg presets but I personally like the Kodak Tri X and TMAX emulsions. If you want to try this then set you camera to Black and White mode then you can see on the screen what the results will be. If you shoot RAW files then you can always change later.

The Two Images above were shot as colour, yes I predominantly shoot B&W but if I see something that catches my eye then I click. In the first I liked how the red of the polo shirt was echoed by the stripe on the ferry. In the second the blue waistcoat really stood out for me. In both cases I had to wait to get the composition I wanted, so always be aware of potential possibilities.

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