India - B&W or Color

Discussion in 'Geographic Location' started by 36cm2, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. 36cm2

    36cm2 Member

    Messages:
    593
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Location:
    Northeast U.
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Going to India (Hyderabad, Bangalore and New Dehli) for a couple weeks. Will be carrying a Perkeo II and a Plaubel Makina 67 with me throughout the trip. I typically only shoot B&W, but wonder if the subject matter lends itself more to color. If you've photographed there, would you recommend:

    (1) loading the PM67 with Portra 400 (my favorite color film) and the Perkeo with TMax 400 (favorite BW film);
    (2) forgetting about color and focusing on normal vs. low light ranges by loading one with TMY2 at 320 and the other with Delta3200 at 1600;
    (3) something different (preferably not thread-jacking different).

    Thanks so much for your help.

    All the best,
    Leo
     
  2. labyrinth photo

    labyrinth photo Member

    Messages:
    35
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2012
    Location:
    Bethnal Gree
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    you'd regret not shooting a bit of colour in india.
     
  3. Shangheye

    Shangheye Member

    Messages:
    1,094
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2007
    Location:
    Belgium
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have shot there, and I think it depends on your objective. As travel photography goes, India without colour would be senseless, but it works in B and W for documentary. If you look at my galleries you should see some examples....particularly from the I Am A Tamil series. I shot both, with B and W as my main film type. Rgds, Kal
     
  4. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,871
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Location:
    Brandon, MB
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Kal's stuff is very strong (I remember his Tamil series well) and between his view and those of friends who've travelled many times there, seems like you'd be well placed to bring some colour.

    That's what I'm going with, also, as I'm headed nearby (Nepal) in just a few days!
     
  5. amsp

    amsp Member

    Messages:
    159
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2012
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I think if there's one country on earth you'd want to bring color film to it would be India.
     
  6. 36cm2

    36cm2 Member

    Messages:
    593
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Location:
    Northeast U.
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Thanks guys. Kal, very nice work. Colin, enjoy the trip. I hope to go to Nepal someday as well. Hopefully with much time and a 4x5 kit.
     
  7. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

    Messages:
    15,204
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Check out Guillaume Zuili's work from India in black and white. Not sure it would have been better in color.
     
  8. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

    Messages:
    796
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2010
    Location:
    IN
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
  9. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    16,807
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If you have never been to India, I think that it would be a mistake to exclude yourself from the option of colour.

    Take extra film, and let the photographic opportunities help you make your decision.
     
  10. NB23

    NB23 Member

    Messages:
    1,073
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Shooter:
    35mm
    It's difficult to see in BW and in color at the same time or switch as opportunities come by. I've done it formy Last Cuba series and it worked but it killed my focus a bit.
    Having shot exclusively kodachrome in 2009 and 2010, I can tell you it was a delight. I developedca sharp vision for colors and forms while BW called for moments instead.

    For India, i think I'd go exclusively color. Look At McCurry's work.
     
  11. MDR

    MDR Member

    Messages:
    1,411
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2006
    Location:
    Austria
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Take both some scene cry out for color and some for B/W. India is a colorful country but color can sometimes be distracting. Make sure that your color photographs are about more than just beautiful color or your risk to come home with the same photographs as everyone else (with exceptions). McCurry is a good example although his photographs have beautiful colors they are about more than just color.

    Have a nice trip.

    Dominik
     
  12. ooze

    ooze Member

    Messages:
    368
    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2004
    Location:
    Istanbul, Tu
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I went to India 11 years ago and shot only B&W...which I regret now.
     
  13. debanddg

    debanddg Member

    Messages:
    63
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    Shooter:
    35mm
    If it's the streets that interest you [and more so since your itinerary mention only 3 cities], B&W is fine. But if your interest covers other stuff as well, colour would be your best pal. However, as someone earlier said that the focus of your attention shifts the moment you switch between colour and B&W, you will have to take a call accordingly.
    And by the way, pack as much film as possible since the chances of getting the films of your choice is almost zero in most photography stores here. If you need any help, please feel free to PM me - have stayed in Delhi + Bangalore for the last 18 years and so may be able to offer some help.

    Have a great time here.

    Cheers
    Deb
     
  14. David Henderson

    David Henderson Member

    Messages:
    342
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2004
    Location:
    Datchet, Ber
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    ISO is important too.

    This is going to complicate your thoughts further, but after a very recent trip to India I found myself shooting at ISO 1600/3200 a lot more than I expected given that you are scarcely ever allowed tripods in interiors. Even outside in the markets I was very often at ISO400 given that the sun was very bright and shots containing both sunlit and shady subjects were ugly so I concentrated on shade. In short I think you need to be equipped to handle a very wide range of exposures and two bodies may not enable you to handle all conditions in B&W and colour.
     
  15. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,107
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2008
    Location:
    Hamburg, DE
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    When I went to Thailand - they told me that I must shot color also - so I carried 35mm color film in small minox and B&W in nikon. Color photography is simple not for me - and this did not changed in "color screaming" Thailand. No good color photos from Thailand...

    But You can bring some color films and some small camera extra - just in case :smile:
     
  16. stavrosk

    stavrosk Member

    Messages:
    155
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I think it is a mistake to go there having decided in advance.
    Is it so hard to have some color film and not use it rather than going there and regretting not bringing it?

    And maybe it is a sin what I am about to say but a color photograph may be converted.

    India for me is one of the most color-demanding destinations.

    Shot 100% color and have not regreted it.
    http://stavroskirimlidisphotography.blogspot.com/search/label/India
     
  17. 36cm2

    36cm2 Member

    Messages:
    593
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Location:
    Northeast U.
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    So I've got a bunch of Portra on the way to supplement the B&W.

    Darkosaric, don't worry. Neither my black and white nor my color photos are likely to be very good. Half the fun is trying.

    Stavrosk, I love "Windows and Door".

    David Henderson. I can't agree with you more. I had the same problem on a different trip a few years ago. That's why my initial preference was one body at mid iso and one at high.

    If I could get my Olympus XA to meter at 1600, I'd use that in a minute. I have a stylus I could bring instead, but P&S makes me want to vomit and medium format is so much more enjoyable in the darkroom.

    I also need to keep things light and compact, as I'll have a baby strapped to me for much of the trip.

    I guess I could just shoot the interior stuff with the Portra and see if all the raves about its wide latitude are for real.

    Thanks for the tips.
     
  18. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,510
    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Location:
    Beaverton, OR
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    While I agree that Portra has great latitude, it does have real limits and the quality is generally better close to its rating.

    Interiors also introduce color temperature problems, extra exposure can help fix that but it ain't perfect and rating your film slower isn't normally what you might want indoors.
     
  19. DesertNate

    DesertNate Member

    Messages:
    42
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2011
    Location:
    New Mexico
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I would bring a bunch of Portra 400, and some Velvia for outdoors. You can always print black and white if you need, but if you shoot BW negs, you sure can't make it color later.
     
  20. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,871
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Location:
    Brandon, MB
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    FWIW, my ratio is about 3/4 black and white and 1/4 colour films...hedging my bets, I guess. Seems like good advice
     
  21. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

    Messages:
    1,925
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Location:
    Maryland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I know some who would disagree