Black N White Film Photography

January 25, 2019 1:56 am by columnblogger
Everyone has their own specific taste and style when it comes to black and white photography and playing around with different types of film can help you
Tips for shooting in black and white
Black N White Film Photography

In this tutorial video, we explore the differences between a lot of different films and what you should and shouldn’t know. What we’re not telling you is that when you shoot black and white film you need to develop a new type of muscle memory. This memory will let you understand how you should shoot images in black and white. Some folks call it ‘thinking’ in black and white – others refer to it as ‘seeing’ in black and white. What you may come to learn is that what you think won’t always be what you see.

Mistakes can get pretty expensive if you’re not sure what you’re doing with your film camera. This forces you to quickly learn what you’re doing wrong.

You don’t have this option when shooting on film. So you really have to pay attention to what it is that you want to capture and how it’s going to look in black and white.

You rely much more on composition, texture, shape and form to create a good photo, so you have to look for this before you shoot, not after.

The Digital Photographer’s Introduction to Black and White Film Photography

This still takes about 2 weeks or longer. I’m there regularly for printing anyway so it’s not too much of a problem.

A note from Josh, ExpertPhotography’s Photographer-In-Chief: Thank you for reading… CLICK HERE if you want to capture breathtaking images, without the frustration of a complicated camera. It’s my training video that will walk you how to use your camera’s functions in just 10 minutes – for free! I also offer video courses and ebooks covering the following subjects: Beginner – Intermediate Photography eBook Beginner – Intermediate Photography Video Course Landscape Photography eBook Landscape Photography Video Course Photography Blogging (Service) You could be just a few days away from finally understanding how to use your camera to take great photos! Thanks again for reading our articles!

Black and white film in particular makes the skin look great. The natural grain adds texture and detail, while the lack of colour emphasises the tone of the skin.

I’ve written about film photography and I’ve written about black and white photography. You’re probably wondering why I’m writing about black and white film photography.

This added pressure of wasting money on the film and development means that you become a much more careful photographer. You consider how else each photo could be taken before actually taking it.

In my post on film photography, I talk in detail about how shooting on film helps to hone your skill. You think a lot more about what you’re doing before taking each photo, rather than wasting a piece of 35mm film.

We have a great post on how to digitize film photos you should check out. Or how about trying our black and photography challenge to keep improving your work!

I urge everyone to start shooting on film as soon as possible. There’s a good chance you won’t be able to experience it in the future.

The light is harder to control but, when you expose a photo correctly with the light in the right places, the results can be much more dramatic.

I have noticed over the past 2 years that development is getting more expensive.  It’s also taking longer to do and film is becoming harder to find. If we take that as a sign of things to come, it doesn’t look too good.

My nearest lab that will actually develop it in-house is about 25 miles away. This isn’t really a lot of use as the development process itself takes a while. Instead, I take mine to my nearest major lab, who send off for it.

Black and white film photography is more complicated than you may have thought.

That being said, there are still places around that do it at a reasonable price to a good standard. But black and white is a lot harder to get done.

The effects produced and the parameters you have to work within are very different from any other type of photography. This can produce some very interesting results – results that you may associate with a much older style of photography.

I particularly like how the light shining on the back of the subject’s head is emphasised by the dark figure behind him.

That is my favourite reason for shooting on black and white film. You’re forced to hone your skills much faster.

The first thing you’ll notice when you get a roll of black and white film developed (particularly with the brand of film that I use: Ilford HP5 Plus) is that the dynamic range is a lot worse than what you’re used to with digital and colour film.

Had I shot the photo above on colour film, you’d be able to see the subject with no problem. When shooting on black and white film, it’s important to determine where the light illuminates the subject and work around that.

Another myth is that black and white film is more or less the same when it comes to versatility. That couldn’t be any further from the truth. There are black and white equivalents for negative and positive films. Still confused? We’ll show you the differences. Prepare to be surprised.

One of my favourite things about shooting on film is how good skin looks.

First and foremost the absolute best film to get started on is Ilford XP2 Super. This film has the ability to have ISO 50 to ISO 800 images all shot on the same roll. You’ll learn even more in our video, but for further learning and reviews, you should check out our analog section. Also be sure to subscribe to our channel on Youtube.

This really bothered me the first time I got my film back because I didn’t know about it before I shot. I hadn’t adjusted my shooting style to match it.

You need to be really careful about this. You’ll find that even landscape shots don’t come out properly, let alone photos of people indoors.

35mm film and development is becoming increasingly scarce. This is because some of the major developers are getting rid of their wet labs, only doing digital printing.

The answer is simple – there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye.

Black and white film photography is back for sure. And with many folks returning to film photography, I wanted to pass on some knowledge that wasn’t given to me initially. Everyone always used to say, “Go shoot Tri-X,” and that was it. After shooting with other films, all that means to me now is that they didn’t know anything else beyond that. There are so many more films beyond that and so much more you should know.

That’s also one of the advantages of the poor dynamic range. The contrast on neutral colours is boosted.

Black and white film photography is all of this and more. Normally, when I take black and white photos, I shoot in colour first and convert it afterwards. This gives me more options in post production.

Take the photo below for example. I knew when I shot it that the left-hand side of the photo was going to be underexposed and that the right would be overexposed. This actually worked out really well.

Once you understand how the film reacts to the light, you can use it as a creative tool in your photography.

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