Why Color is Important in Black and White (Eight Photos)

To view more of my photography please click on www.rakmilphotography.com

In the days of film when taking B&W photos you often added a color filter to your lens to change the tonal range of the photo. Today we can use software filters.. For example, a Red filter lets red through, blocks blue and creates a lot of contrast which is why it helps make great skies. The other filters most commonly used are Orange, Yellow, Green and Blue. These colors change the gradations of B&W and the range of tonality and contrast. They can also make modest differences to the shadows and highlights in the photo. The eight photos posted here are the same photograph processed in color and B&W: the original color version, my final B&W product, the B&W with no color filter and then in succession, photos using the color filters (red, orange, yellow, green and blue) in that order (subtle changes). For the final B&W I chose to use the Green filter as it opened up the tonal range. In many of my B&Ws I make adjustments to the filter itself, just to get it the way I want it. Now with my Fuji XT-2, I can take photos in B&W and apply those filters when shooting as opposed to in post processing. If you shoot RAW, as opposed to JPEG, in most processing software you easily turn the photo back to color. A great way to learn black and white is to shoot in raw, set your camera to B&W and when you get back to your computer decide whether the shot should have been color or B&W.

6 responses

  1. Technology is pretty amazing!


    April 11, 2017 at 7:41 pm

  2. Yet again, you taught me something I would have never even thought about otherwise. Thanks!


    April 12, 2017 at 11:46 am

  3. Thanks for sharing so much, Victor! I can always learn something from your examples and narratives! The choice of green in the final black and white seems to be the right choice, as the tonals are much more vibrant !


    April 14, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    • Much appreciated. It’s interesting to articulate how I do things, helps me, helps others.


      April 14, 2017 at 1:42 pm

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