MONO MAN­UAL Do you still need fil­ters?

With black-and-white film you use yel­low, red, green, and other fil­ters to change the tonal bal­ance

NPhoto - - Special Feature -

Fil­ters have al­ways been a very im­por­tant part of black-and-white pho­tog­ra­phy. A coloured fil­ter will let light of that colour pass through but block oth­ers, so that al­though the im­age is still in black-and­white, you can make some colours ap­pear darker and oth­ers ap­pear lighter. Land­scape pho­tog­ra­phers would typ­i­cally use a yel­low fil­ter to slightly darken blue skies and make fo­liage brighter, or stronger or­ange or red fil­ters to boost dra­matic skies and en­hance con­trast in sun­lit scenes. Here’s how it works with dig­i­tal cam­eras.

The key thing about dig­i­tal sen­sors is that they ini­tially cap­ture the scene in full colour, what­ever the set­tings you’ve cho­sen on the cam­era. The im­age is con­verted into black-and­white ei­ther in the cam­era or in your RAW con­ver­sion soft­ware.

You can use black-and­white fil­ters on your D-SLR, but you’re sim­ply restrict­ing the colours cap­tured by the sen­sor – with a red fil­ter, for ex­am­ple, only the red pho­to­sites will re­spond. The grains in black and white film re­spond to all colours.

As a re­sult, there’s lit­tle point in us­ing fil­ters. In fact, you’re restrict­ing your op­tions later. It’s bet­ter to shoot in colour ( RAW, ideally) and use soft­ware black-and-white con­ver­sion tools to ad­just the way colours are ren­dered.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.