Film For Black And White Photography

By | 02/10/2022

If you are new to pic photography, chances are that you will become into shooting black and white sooner or later considering you have been inspired by the masterpieces of great geniuses. But before you get the next Henri Cartier-Bresson or Sebastião Salgado there are a few things y’all should know.

Seeing the world in Blackness and White is the main struggle for everyone in the beginning but like with everything else, it tin can be learned and skillful with a simple agreement of how colours are translated into B&W. The human heart can distinguish approximately 500 shades of gray (some are limited to 50 merely that’s another story!) but on the other mitt, the scope for colors is about unlimited.

Why are some colors identical when turned into BW?

Imagine a passenger vehicle with only 50 seats (and no stand-up space) that has to conduct 200 hundred people at the aforementioned time. If they all desire to go in, some people volition take to share the same seat. That’s essentially the same with colors turned into B&W. In that location are too many to fit into those 500 shades of gray then they must exist compressed to all fit into the coach. To demonstrate this visually, I’ve converted the 6 basic colors into gray and so you can see how they translate in BW.​

Does that mean that I tin can’t take a good BW picture of a poppy field?

Hopefully not! At that place are solutions to change the mode B&W pic responds to colours. For this, yous volition have to rely on coloured filters. Let me briefly introduce each of them:

Yellow filter:

The classic amidst black and white photographers. Blue skies are darkened which helps to increase separation with the clouds. Other colours like green, cerise, orange and yellowish will appear brighter.


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/Friederike Hiepko (

Blue Filter:

Another uncommon filter just if y’all desire to brighten dejection it’due south the i! Warm colours volition exist darkened and reds turned into black, which tin can help to separate elements in a mixed coloured scene. It likewise increases fog and haze, which can help to emphasize a moody landscape.

Contrasting Opinions

Now that we know how to manipulate each colour, the other element to consider when shooting B&W film is contrast.

Depending on which style you are going for, contrast will play a major role. There are no colours to ascertain the mood of your image, so the type of light available is probably the well-nigh important chemical element to create the ambiance you want to achieve. Direct sunlight can exist a nightmare for colour photographers, just not in B&Westward. If you lot desire to shoot street photography, for example, it’due south exactly what you lot are looking for as it will create contrasting harsh edges in your images. It will help to detach subjects from their environment and re-enforce your composition.

“In that location are so many films, which ane is the all-time?”

Choosing film can be overwhelming when starting out so if y’all are not certain about which one you should utilise, bank check out the “Film Dating” quiz I take created. It helps to detect the right film for you in simply a few clicks.

The last betoken that will influence the result of your images is the development technique or chemicals you utilize. At that place are many ways to get when developing and the combinations of moving-picture show/developer tin completely change the look of a negative.

I’ll take the instance of stand evolution as that’s the 1 I’grand the most familiar with. Depending on the film and developer y’all are using, information technology can completely change the dissimilarity of your photograph. I have tried this arroyo with Fomapan 400 (low contrast) and Kodak Tri-X (loftier contrast).