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Sunday, 23 March 2014


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To continue, did your comments re highlights refer to the D800,or was it different problems?

[Just overall, nothing specific and consistent. --Mike]

I am curious as to how much printing you have done on a good printer. I find that the more time I spend making black and white prints, on an Epson 3800, the closer I get to what I want from B&W. The pigment inks and the wonderful range of papers now available make getting to your target much easier than even two years ago. I know you have a good printer in TOP HQ somewhere. Once you move to HQ2 and have one set up you will find you'll advance rapidly.

Taking them at the their word- perhaps.
Believing it- maybe.
Liking it- depends.

Stupid question: Could the difficulty some have in achieving the B&W results they want in the digital realm be because, at least in film, it's not really black and white but black and silver?

That's all very well Mike, but none of this explains why you hate colour photography so much. I think we should be told!!!

Last really great digital black & white I saw was shot on a high-end large plate Hasselblad digital (I think it was something in the 40-50 megapixel range), and then was converted to black & white in a film emulator program like VSCO or Alien using the Tri-X setting. Closest thing I've ever seen to "real" black and white...

BTW, interesting reply to Bernie as above...

It reminds me that if you didn't do your own black & white in the old days, that you'd have to have a pretty good relationship with a printer at a lab before you could talk about getting him to print something in your "style", and pay a lot for it as "approval" printing. Even today, the guy that "prints" my commercial black & white (i.e. scans my negs and does Epson output), only hits it right, to my eye, about one out of three times, which is why I always ask for an approval print before he does the whole thing...

I was interested in your comment about the learning curve on conversion to B&W. I have the same issue. So I wondered about this possibility: could you post a straight from the camera color photo and invite readers to do a conversion, documenting their process? It might be interesting to crowd-source this issue.

Always shoot in RAW. I have found conversion to B&W to be much smoother with the extra info from a RAW file than a baked jpg. And yes, every (B&W) image needs a different treatment.

I think individual interpretation is important. I always loved the look and tonal qualities of black and white Polaroid, both 107 and 667. That is the look I am naturally inclined to when I process my digital images for black and white.

Thank you, for pointing out Gianni Galassi, I have followed for years on Flickr, http://www.flickr.com/photos/giannigalassi/,
and he is the most amazing photographer!

Regarding the idea of various interpretations and styles, it is good to point out that even within one photographer's set of work, interpretation or style may change. Ansel Adams' work demonstrates this phenomenon. People generally associate his work with dramatic vast landscapes, but he started with a very different approach. Even after his embrace of "straight photography" his work changed and progressed to that dramatic style many remember.

Even within my own work, I have made adjustments that impact the look and feel of my photographs. Changes in brands or types of papers, developers, and toning processes impact the look and feel of your work and these choices change over time and interact with "artistic" choices to impact a photographer's prints.

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