First off, this thread is just like the creative photo thread, but strictly black and white. I've been meaning to start genre-specific threads more often, but the whole 'work' thing got in the way of me doing anything more than making the occasional post in threads I visit. Let me strike up some conversation, though, since it's kind of a doozy.
[release]Recently, I've been dragged head-over-heels into the idea of black and white photography. This is great, except it conflicts with a moderately accurate observation I've made, in which some people simply turn their boring images black and white, then say "I HAVE MADE AN ART!" and try selling it at craft fairs.
In the past few weeks I've been experimenting, using my D7000, 50mm 1.8, and custom settings. Thankfully with RAW you can just open things up and say "nevermind" to it all and bring back the original color, and in doing this I'm finding a stark difference, something I'm just referring to as the "midas touch", in which anything Midas touched turned to pure gold, or in this case anything I shot turned to me shouting across the house "OH MY GOD GUYS COME LOOK AT THIS!". Granted, there is a coupling of actual photographic prowess mixed in with the black and white (I hope, at least), but I worry I'm falling into the rut of "hey guys it's black and white therefore ART!".
Thanks to RAW's data, I can look back at the color version of the shot and think to myself about how I'd probably have deleted that shot if I took it as such, but absolutely adored in my custom mono.
case in point, same image, straight out of camera.
Load the black and white first, analyze and think about it in your head. Then when you're done, look at the 'standard' color shot and think again:
instantly I cared about every dumb color-related detail
• missed the backdrop, wall is yellow
• why the fuck is the backdrop blue
• there's some cables and a tripod just under her arms in the background
• her face is red from leaning on stuff, clashing with arms
• wood of chair isn't classy colored at all, clashes against skin/face
• that blue shirt just... it's sky blue. That's bothering me, not sure why
• eyes don't stand out as boldly, but they're still a neat shade.
• did I mess up the white balance? What the hell
So, am I crazy, am I just falling for the lazy bit and just thinking b/w is more artistic, or is it really just that damn awesome at times?[/release]
[release]Monochrome doesn't have to be black, white and gray; it can have a tint to it, whether it be through the natural effects of the printing methods, film or print aging, or post processing in digital, but these slight variations can change a photo's feel on the whole.
The two mains:
Sepiatone; a bronze pallet- gives off an old, timeless, nostalgic feel. Very relaxed. [example in above story]
Cyanotype; a sky-blue pallet- gives images a crisp, clean, high-key and high-class feel. Very active. [examples, by Dai]
Secondary 'vanity' colors:
Green: feels old, printed, archival, and sometimes eery. [example, by Dai]
I'll be experimenting with the other [nikon default] colors available to me, but I want people to experiment as well and see what they find it means to them. Custom split-toning processes would be cool to experiment with too.[/release]
So, that about sums it up. I shoot digital, love extreme contrast, sharpness and lots of detail in my subjects. I love healthy grain, and have grown a habit of turning up my ISO just so I get a bit of it SOOC. I've got other methods of making smoother, more natural 'film' looking grain (instead of digital luminosity noise, which can get sharp and contrasty for no reason)
I'd like to hear who shoots B/W film and how they apply their own touch to the process.