Please briefly describe your black and white digital workflow.

Editor's picture
More and more digital cameras have a “monochrome” mode for making digital images in black and white, in camera. But you can also “convert” images later easily enough in Raw converter or from JPEGs. If you do use digital for black and white photography, how do you prefer to do it?
Please briefly describe your black and white digital workflow.
I use the Monochrome mode so I can see the results in black and white in the field.
64% (191 votes)
I shoot in Raw and make the conversion later using my Raw converter.
10% (31 votes)
I shoot in either Raw or JPEG and convert to black and white in my main image editing software.
26% (77 votes)
Total votes: 299
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Comments
Philip Prestano's picture

Since shooting B&W film for so long I have really grown accustomed to seeing my images in B&W. I occassionally convert raw files to B&W but when I see a particular scene that should be shot in B&W I switch modes.

Sultan of Cognac's picture

I want complete control over the image and any versions thereof. I therefore shoot in raw and make adjustments myself - one never knows if a colour version of the image or even a portion could be used for a project at a later date.

John H.  Reiff's picture

This way, I retain a color & B&W "original" image.

Bob Canova's picture

You can get the best of both worlds.

Brian Evers's picture

If you shoot in black and white you can never go back to color!

Teresa Machado's picture

I prefer converting to monochrome using Channels in Photoshop, plus Levels or any other adjustment suitable, like lens filters. It allows me for greater tone range of grayscale.

RonkII's picture

My E-1 does not have the feature and it is just as well. The C5050 has it and the pictures seem dull compared to the conversion using software.

Jennifer's picture

By converting later, I still have the color version if I want it.

Arfan Asif's picture

I believe to get all the tones one has to work on good softwares. The readymade tools available on the camera and just direct conversion really does not produce range of tones required.

G.  Paual's picture

I shoot soley in Raw, and use several different conversion techniques depending on the image and the exposure level.

Tom G.'s picture

There are many different ways of converting to B&W. Maybe you should do a survey of that or an article comparing the methods (channels, LAB, monochrome, desaturation, etc.)

Joe McLaughlin's picture

I use both to see if my color looks better in B&W sometimes shoot B&W in camera. It seems to print better when shot in camera .

Stuart Koslov's picture

I occasionally use channel mixer with the monochrome option checked. More often, I use a macro to set up a workflow that uses each of the red, green, and blue layers as well as the luminosity channel of a LAB image. Masks on each channel allow me to paint in exactly the detail I want from each channel.

Lauren MacIntosh's picture

If you know that your going to have a certain foto go B&W then yopu know in advance what you will need to make sure its comes out B&W , But I prefer to shoot either Jpeg or Raw and then take the work home and do it on the Computer!

Gordon Brown's picture

Actually, I shoot in RAW color and change the image to B&W in Photoshop, but I would like to see a monochrome image on the LCD camera viewer, but still save the image saved in Color RAW. I could therefore use Chanel Mixer, etc. in Photoshop on the image to get the best B&W rendition.

Jerry Robinson's picture

I use a free Photoshop Plug-in from optixVerve Labs.

Tim's picture

I only shoot RAW and then convert in Photoshop.

G.  A.  's picture

Sometimes I shoot in Monochrome mode to preview the results, but mostly I shoot in color and convert with image-editing software.

Speedball's picture

Once the camera diddles the image you can't undo it. Besides, I can do much better with photoshop or specialized software. Why compromise with some in camera processing designed for a total beginner.

John T.  Marsh's picture

I shoot a lot of infrared with a converted Nikon D50 with R72 filter and eliminate all color usually using channel mixing.

Stan Orlob's picture

I can make my decision at print time and in fact print in both color and monochrome. I usually tone my monochrome prints either warm or cold so I adjust in Photoshop any way.

Greg Strakna's picture

Some photos look better in B&W and some in Color look better and some times you have to take the photo in B&W.

Edward Brown's picture

I still do not know which way presents the best B&W. So far I have not found digital B&W to equal film B&W. Some argue otherwise. I would like to see a serious article in Shutterbug concerning the pros and cons of digital vs film.

Jack Mader's picture

I add the appropriate "filters" in my Canon 30D, then make final adjustments in either Photoshop or the new Windows Vista Photogallery. Works great for me!

Carolyn Barnes's picture

I've actually used all three methods, but since aquiring the Canon Rebel XTi, I use the raw conversion technique. Raw gives a much better image quality to the results.

Larry Dickerson's picture

With the latest B&W conversion program in CS3, control of the final image is much more manageable.

Charles Collins's picture

I prefer using Photoshop to convert to B&W - this gives me the best of both worlds (color & B&W) for future use. It also allows better control of the B&W output.

Ray Redd's picture

Image editing software offers the greatest flexibility for B&W conversions.

John P.  Krupa's picture

Use Adobe Lightroom to make conversion.

Don Mullins's picture

I like having the flexibility to revert back to color.