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Old 05-20-2006, 08:12 PM
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Default Digital Black & White

I'm new to Digital photography so I apologise if my question seems stupid.
I would like to shoot some black and white. Is it better to sett the camera to shoot in black and white, or shoot in full colour and reduce saturation in post processing? Is there any advantage either way, assuming that I wouldn't want a colour version aswell.?
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Old 05-20-2006, 09:12 PM
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Default Re: Digital Black & White

In the end it's best to set the camera to raw, which will mean that it records a colour image. You can still select b/w mode, which may help you see what you're going to get. The raw mode gives you the possibility of a better tonal range, and the colour layers allow you to achieve the effects of colour filters during your post-processing if necessary.
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Old 05-22-2006, 04:07 AM
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Default Re: Digital Black & White

Without doubt you should always shoot in color in digital. If your goal is to end up with a black & white image then get yourself something like a Wratten filter so that you can get an idea of what your final image may look like.

I completely agree with Greg on the selection of RAW mode. Yes, writing to your memory card will take a little longer and you won't squeeze as many photos onto it, but it's definitely worth it. If you set your camera to black & white mode it makes all the decisions for you about levels, tonality etc. etc. Whilst convenient, it's a better idea to give yourself control over those decisions in post-processing.

Finally, when converting the image I find that adding a channels layer in monochrome mode works best, followed by levels adjustment via another layer as necessary. These are all PhotoShop features, but may be available in other software if you don't have a copy of PhotoShop. In general reducing saturation isn't your best bet for color to black & white conversion.

If you need any more input I'd be happy to help.
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Old 05-22-2006, 04:14 AM
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Default Re: Digital Black & White

Greg - just to clarify for Simone on this point. RAW mode is the native mode for the camera - other modes such as JPEG of TIFF will also capture color data. The advantage of RAW mode is that the image isn't processed in the camera (as would be the case with JPEG or TIFF), i.e. it contains the original exposure information. This means that the exposure of the original image can be manipulated later without image degradation.

Ron.
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