Black and White

Dan James is always asking questions, and quite often, I feel compelled to answer in the comments. But my comments tend to run long and soon I have written a 7-paragraph response which is better suited a blog post. I think it's ok to use another photographer's post as a writing prompt. In a recent post, Dan wrote:

We’re into autumn nowhere, and with shorter days and that strong low sun, it invites the beginning of another era of b/w photography for me, always an exciting time.
Why Photograph In Black And White?

Black & white film was what I used when I first started in photography in college (the mid-80’s). For one thing, Kodak T-MAX film was cheaper than Kodak's colour films (e.g. Kodacolor VR-G 200), and the campus darkroom (and chemicals) was free to use for B&W film development. I was also a novice, and in my mind, B&W was cool and artsy.

These days, I photograph in black & white (digital) mostly during the winter months when shades of grey are all I can see. I also use black and white when I want to be moody.

Some people think that flipping a bad photo to black and white will make it look better. The featured photo in this blog post, made on my iPhone 11 Pro in very poor lighting, disproves that idea. No amount of processing in Silver Efex Pro will improve this photograph.

Submitted for the 100DaysToOffload project.

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  • Reply
    Daniel Sigg
    26th September 2020 at 2:06 PM

    Totally agree, Khürt. Winter months are definitely great for black and white, as is conveying moodiness or a certain mood. I also find B&W can work great for patterns/shapes/textures, high contrast scenes and also for removing any color "distractions".

    • Reply
      Khürt Williams
      29th September 2020 at 12:58 PM

      I've stocked up on a roll each of ADOX SCALA 160, Rollei RPX 100 Rollei RPX 25, and FPP Eastman 5302 B&W 35mm films.

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