Black and White (film) Photography

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Thanks to photography, we all view and (more importantly) perceive the early 20th century as monochrome. It all looks unreal when I see a movie (made in color) about the times and lives in the early 1900’s.

Lady in red …
To me color photos are more of a reproduction of reality as we see it, and some photos are really beautiful. I believe, and so do many that, color becomes a distraction if you are attempting to portray an emotion. This surely doesn’t mean that every B/W image is great – composition matters a lot in B/W images. Sometime back I happened to come across this wonderful 5 min video on the human mind’s perception of color. It’s content is exceptionally well made, and I highly recommend it to anyone who’s interested in photography.

Darkroom vs (Adobe) Lightroom
Nowadays, we can shoot B/W in digital also. Nonetheless, pick up a B/W darkroom print and you’ll forget everything you tried to understand about ppi and dpi. Also, colors on a computer screen may not always look the same on a digital print. Of course, one must also realize that all the digital tweaks available in Photo editing S/W are in fact very much possible in a darkroom, and the ease of it all trumps everything else.

From the Cradle to the Grave
If you shoot color, and develop it on your own (C41 for negative and E6 for positive color film), there are very few places that still do darkroom prints – you could, of course, do that yourself, but scanning would be easier.If you shoot B/W, it’s very simple to develop your negatives, and have darkroom prints done on your own (I’ll create a separate post for that).

All said and done, shoot whatever film you can lay your hands on – there’s not much of it around as before, but from capturing a scene to seeing it on paper, I believe there’s nothing easier and more satisfying than B/W film! 🙂

P.S: There are in fact number of other ways of photographing in monochrome which you should be aware of (read or watch).

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