Best of both worlds

posted on 8th of june, 2009

I was reminded of something I frequently do when reading a recent photo magazine - getting a black and white preview while taking pictures. One of the benefits of digital is that you can shoot color and still post process black and white. Having the color file available to you is amazing, since you can do all kinds of color filtering and mixing to arrive at a final black and white image.

Something unique to digital, though, is sort of a 'best of both worlds' feature. If you have a camera that can be set to record black and white (my Canon DSLR does) and also allows a RAW + JPG setting, then you can take photos and get a black and white preview, black and white JPG, while still having the color RAW file to go back to. This gives you both the advantages of having a color 'negative', with the obvious benefit of being able to view the result in black and white immediately. It also serves as a reminder that you intended the file to be black and white when viewing the previews in your organizer.

Many DSLRs allow color filters in addition to contrast that are applied to the JPG. This isn't as sophisticated as what you can do later with channel mixing, but is a lot closer to getting an idea of what the final image could look like.

Comments (6)

Comment by Morrbyte on June 10, 2009

Wow! Thanks never realised that,im sure to give that a try very soon.

Comment by Reeddaigle on June 09, 2009

Thanks Brad. I'll try it out sometime soon.

Comment by Eclecticelegance on June 09, 2009

Very neat!! I enjoy taking pictures in black and white and in sepia with my pocket digital camera (no DSLR yet :) ).

Comment by Bradcalkins on June 09, 2009

Sure - you can set the 450D to RAW + JPG (Large/Fine). Then you go into picture styles and choose the mono or black and white option...

Comment by Reeddaigle on June 09, 2009

Thanks for pointing this out. Is this feature available on the 450D? (I'll see if I can figure it out.)

Comment by Marilyngould on June 08, 2009

In a world where color rules there is something so breathtaking about a superb black & white shot! Thanks for the helpful idea!

Comments (6)

This article has been read 916 times. 5 readers have found this article useful.
Photo credits: Brad Calkins.

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