This photo was made in Raw file format, then enhanced using a Raw processor. Doing so allowed me to get exactly the color, contrast, and richness I wanted. Shooting in Raw is what allowed me to get the most quality out of the image file later.
Dedicated black and white photographers have always processed their images and made their own prints. Negatives were carefully developed according to exposure and contrast needs; prints were made with extensive “handwork” and archival processing procedures. Processing was and is a key element in black and white photography—digital does not change that element of the craft.
One of the most exciting aspects of black and white photography is your ability to interpret your images, that is, joining your way of seeing with the application of techniques. For example, when shooting landscapes, the aim is generally to communicate your “sense of place.” The techniques you apply define both the objective place (the record of that scene) and your perceptions and feelings about it. Depending on your decisions, you can create an image of the same scene pervaded by light and contrast, or set in deep, dark tones. The objective image does not change; what can change is your interpretation, the way the scene is altered by journeying through your mind’s eye.
Not long ago when you wanted even a modicum of quality with the ability to interchange lenses and control over cameras and functions worthy of the craft you’d mainly have to choose among a variety of D-SLR-type cameras. While they all followed the 35mm SLR form and even modes of operation, the digital differentiator was generally the size and megapixel count on the sensor. While there certainly were variations and competitive technologies within different brands, the major split was between APS-C and so-called “full frame” (larger sensors equaling the 35mm format). Improvements tended to drift “down” from full-framers to APS-C, but there were also a number of concessions, if you will, that moved up from APS-C to the more pro-oriented models, which for some muddied the waters although body construction, shutter cycles, and other matters of concern to pros were retained in the higher-priced cameras.
One such path is onOne Software’s Perfect B&W, nestled within their Perfect Photo Suite or available as a stand-alone or plug-in for Photoshop, Lightroom, and Aperture. The advantage of using it within the Suite is that you also get access to the other excellent modules within that program. The advantage of the stand-alone is that you get an amazing array of controls for a rather incredible price. The Suite, by the way, offers onOne’s Layers, Mask, Effects, Focus, and Resize programs, all highly regarded, making the options virtually endless. For this review I accessed Perfect B&W from within the Suite.
This is a portrait of my Great-Uncle Syl, taken in the late 1940’s, a print that sat in a storage box until last year. Now Syl’s on the web here, shared with family via an e-mail attachment, and will soon be part of a photo book of the family history. If you’ve got boxes of old photos it’s easy to share them too. For those thinking about such a project, and who haven’t scanned before, here are some basic FAQ’s that might get you started.
The Vanguard ABEO Pro Kit starts out as a solid carbon-fiber tripod but then adds features and functions like a removable and rotatable (vertical or horizontal) center column, a pistol grip with built-in trigger release with cable attachments for many cameras, bubble levels, 80-degree leg spread, three “feet” supports (pads, spikes, and rubber), a quick-release base plate and mechanism, and etched degree settings on the center column for those who want to do precise panoramas.
Think of a digital camera as a microprocessor with a lens. Along with doing all the things a camera does there is an immense amount of image processing that goes on inside before the image is recorded on the memory card. There are many ways to change the character of an image using the camera’s processor.