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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Still Life, B/W & Experimental Talk
Thread started 07 Nov 2016 (Monday) 20:42
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Filters in software for B&W

104 posts
Joined Oct 2016
Nov 07, 2016 20:42 |  #1

Used to using filters for film and familiar with them from a few decades of use.
Digital programs have them but they are generic Red, Blue, Green, Yellow and maybe Orange.

How do I get a Wratten 23, 25 or 29? Or do I just play around with sliders and hope the screen is showing what I want?

With the real thing I get the lighten/darken with subject matter based on the filter. Do the settings in the computer work the same? From what I see they don't quite match up to the real thing. Seems more hit and miss.

Any good tutorials online I can check out for more control?

Sure found it easier to shoot B&W from the start rather than color and convert on a computer. A totally different mindset when working with B&W film from the start.

"I've been a procrastinator all my life. I keep meaning to do something about that."

Cream of the Crop
Joined Dec 2010
Repps cum Bastwick, Gt Yarmouth, Norfolk, UK.
Nov 09, 2016 13:34 |  #2

The biggest problem is that digital black and white is a single stage process, rather than a two stage one. When shooting B&W film you apply the colour filter at the point of exposure, to control the response of the film in the production of a "good" negative. Then once you have created the negative you would chose your printing paper, and of course the grade of paper would make a significant difference to the results too, just as your previous choice of film, filters, and exposure did. The of course you would have to expose the paper, plus any dodging or burning, or quite possibly dodging AND burning.

Producing a black and white image from a digital colour original is a completely different process, and although many of the terms are the same, the ones that I find potentially the least like the old way of doing things is simulating colour filters. Personally I much prefer to do my conversions in LR, since the mixer in LR gives you the most colour channels to work with. Even If I convert in PS I always use the Channel Mixer, not the Black and White filter. I also produced my own black and white presets in LR, which I have generally named for the colour filters that I might have used to get a similar result using film and a darkroom. Even when I have used one of my own presets, that is usually only a starting point, and I will make some fine
to at least some of the colour channels. The thing is that I usually just think about how the tones would have been rendered by FP4 or HP5, and then how that would relate to my print on either Kentmere or Ilford papers, and adjust the channel sliders to produce the result I would have got from film.


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Filters in software for B&W
FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Still Life, B/W & Experimental Talk

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