Black & White question
I'm looking to get some filters for my G9 to do some black & white photography and wasn't sure if I needed color filters. I've always used yellow filters with my film cameras but I have Fotomatic color filter plugins for Photoshop CS..

Should I get the yellow filter or just use CS filter plugin during post? Any insight would be greatly appreciated.....

Comments (7)

Don't bother with the filters on the camera..

Converting to B&W is best done with post processing in your favorite photomangler where all kinds of "filters" can be applied. There are several plug-ins available for Photoshop.A member of the rabble in good standing..

Comment #1

LM2 wrote:.

Don't bother with the filters on the camera..

Exactly. All they will do is waste light..

Converting to B&W is best done with post processing in your favoritephotomangler where all kinds of "filters" can be applied. There areseveral plug-ins available for Photoshop..


I recommend the Channels control in Photoshop. It works in the same "filtering" way as coloured glass in front of B/W film... but without wasting precious light at the shooting stage.Regards,Baz..

Comment #2

I agree with the others..

Use a computer to convert your images to B&W. There are several ways to do it, all offering some advantages. You can Google the processes and decide which you like..

Conversion to black and white is a very gray area..

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Comment #3

G'day GrendelX et al,.

Contrary to what has been written above I have found that extremely good monochrome results can be achieved by shooting in B&W using a small array of colour filters. Here is a link to start with:

The correct use of these filters will render affects which cannot (yet) be exactly duplicated by Photoshop etc..

While I do make colour photographs and convert them using the RGB Channel/Calculations and Lab Colour/Gradient Map methods, (with some other PS tweaking), there is a certain sense of achievement in selecting the proper subject, nutting out which filter to use, making a shot in B&W then processing it to the desired result..

I still apply both conversions mentioned above to my B&W originals as I consider them to be my B&W negatives and therefore require as much, (but different), treatment as a colour shot..

I have more recently found that by pumping up the saturation in a colour photograph that I know I will convert to B&W, I obtain much better tonality..

The filters I use for dedicated B&W shooting are: Yellow, Orange, Red and Green..

I recommend to all to give it a go, (if your camera alows it) and feel the elation whenever you nail it..


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Comment #4

A yellow filter is needed with some B&W films to get a proper tonal balance when photographing in daylight. A green filter is needed with tungsten light. This doesn't mean that you should always use one of those filters regardless of the situation..

If you're after a natural tonal balance with digital, use the proper white balance and then convert to grayscale (this isn't the same thing as desaturating). I don't know about the G9 but, if you've got a choice of color spaces, use the biggest one for the conversion to B&W to get the most natural result..

I suspect that your yellow filter will be easily duplicated with Photoshop but the B&W tones you get may not be what you're used to with film..

You can't always get whatever you want via some plug-in or the channel mixer. In some cases, an optical filter is the only way. The reason is that most of the scene's spectral information is lost when the image is reduced to the 3 RGB channels. Once that information is gone, there's no bringing it back..

Also, with an optical filter, the filter factor is generally considered at the time of the exposure. That filter factor doesn't go away by using a digital filter. The image editing program has to apply the filter factor by doing a virtual ISO increase on the image. This may or may not be worse than using an optical filter and adjusting for the filter factor when the shot is made; it depends on the circumstances...

Comment #5

GrendelX wrote:.

I'm looking to get some filters for my G9 to do some black & whitephotography and wasn't sure if I needed color filters. I've alwaysused yellow filters with my film cameras.

You should not need the yellow filter with your digicam..

The yellow filter was to compensate for the color response of pan film, which is more sensitive to blue than to red or green& exactly the opposite of our eyes which are quite insensitive to blue..

The digicam, on the other hand, combines the red, green, and blue in proportions that are approximately equal to the sensitivity of the human eye. The yellow filter is not needed..

Which isn't to say that it might not be useful, although I'd still use Photoshop (or in-camera filter effects if the G9 has them) for that. The yellow filter will further cut the blue, further darkening skies and sun shadows...

Comment #6

My wife likes doing B&W and she came to the conclusion the best method is to shoot in color, in raw, and convert to black and white in Adobe Camera Raw - there is a tab that gives you tight control over various colors (including orange, aqua, purple in addition to RGB, CMY). For each color you can adjust hue, saturation and brightness -.

Desaturating and adjusting the brightness of each color individually gives great control over the final B&W image..

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Comment #7

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