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  1. #11
    MDR
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    Making a superb color photo, that is more than just color and effect is in my opinion more difficult than making a decent B/W photo. All in all they are equally hard to do. In reality there are about 20 times more color photographers than B/W photographers and this might be the reason why the B/W Forum is more active. Color = everyone does it. B/W less used therefore better. I personally prefer B/W but there are quiet a few color photos I'd love to own none by the Düsseldorfer or Finnish School though.

    Dominik

  2. #12
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    It's really because there's far more controls and variables with B&W film processing and printing as a consequence thre's actually far more to learn and discuss..

    I used to do a lot of colour processing mostly E6 (E3/4 before that) and some Cibachrome/Ilfochrome printing, and also some C41 negs and RA-4 prints. Howevever once mastered there's few variables.

    Ian

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    It's really because there's far more controls and variables with B&W film processing and printing as a consequence thre's actually far more to learn and discuss..

    I used to do a lot of colour processing mostly E6 (E3/4 before that) and some Cibachrome/Ilfochrome printing, and also some C41 negs and RA-4 prints. Howevever once mastered there's few variables.

    Ian
    I agreed with some of it. I would not say that there is not much to learn the color photography. But the mechanics of it just took the control out of your hands, into the processor. If you do not follow the right temperature and chemical mix, the results are ugly.

    But for BW, the latitude is huge. Even some badly processed negatives or positives can yield some interesting results. There is little hurdle to get in and it costs very little. And the experience is rewarding. All the above are just opposite with color photography.

    But one thing I know that: I printed some BW photos of my young daughter. I showed her my BW prints and she does not show any interest at all. She said she likes colored better. I was disappointed with one night's BW printing work, but I understood.

  4. #14
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    I have never tried color. I do a bit of colour though!


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    It's really because there's far more controls and variables with B&W film processing and printing as a consequence thre's actually far more to learn and discuss..

    Ian
    +1 as they say here. I'd just add based to your quote above based on my extensive reading of APUG posts ...." and debate, occasionally disagree about and very occasionally have a serious altercation about things B&W

    pentaxuser

  6. #16
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Color film and printing is a fairly standardized process.

    Black and white is open to literally any number of altercations with developers that you can either buy or mix yourself, toners, film developing techniques with all sorts of varied dilution and agitation, tons of different films and papers, as well as alternative printing techniques such as platinum/palladium, kallitypes, lith printing, bromoil, or even photogravure. If you're so inclined you could also get into wet plate photography, or even emulsion making and coating your own plates and paper. With color you have C41 film and RA-4 paper, if you wish to do things in purely analog fashion, and E6. There are other techniques such as gum printing with many colors (which require separation negatives, best done digitally), color carbro printing, and gumoil. In a word I think you can sum it up in the word 'choices'. There simply isn't nearly as much to discuss about color film and printing.

    Contrary to popular opinion, I think that black and white, as a concept, is infinitely more difficult because of all those variables mentioned above.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  7. #17
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    And, if I dare say, many color printing processes these days fall into a hybrid category, so it's not entirely on topic for APUG, which may also explain why there are far fewer discussing color printing than b/w here.

  8. #18

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    Well the processing part of colour printing is fairly mechanical, you can alter contrast with additives, but you can do alot when exposing the paper, inc changing filtration for dodging and burning. Good for late nights in the darkroom and using up lots of paper.
    Bob

  9. #19

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    I think color paper is even cheaper than the BW paper, at least for me

    I do both BW and color. And I'd like to spend more time with photography, less time with all the mechanics. To me, I do not have time to experiment with all the BW chemicals and processes. I tried a couple and stick with one that I'm very happy with. Then for the printing, I know how to control the density and contrast and get the effect I want. Then it is time to move on. It is never ending to try new stuff.

    The other thing comes to mind is that, BW photography is considered ART and color photography is mainstream and less of an ART. This has nothing to do with photography, but just with the concept of their popularity.

    If today I shoot with a TLR, others would think I'm an artist since I use an old and strange camera. But TLR cameras were so popular in the old days and they are hardly considered artists' tools.

    Actually by now almost all film photography should be considered ART since the mainstream has already moved on to digital....

  10. #20
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedSun View Post
    No, there is no such thing of one technology better than the other one.
    I was thinking at this stage of film photography, BW is more accessible and attracts more audience. It is harder to set up darkroom for color photo work. It costs about $200 to set up a BW darkroom. But it costs much more for color, from chemical to processor.

    So the popularity.
    Nope. As others said, you may WANT a processor, but you don't NEED one. I used to print color in the late 90s and even though I had a Jobo I used trays. I hate the time consumption of drying and changing drums. It really slows things down.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob-D659 View Post
    Room temp colour printing is dead easy, yes the outlay form chems is more, the paper is about half the cost, and colour enlargers are dirt cheap.

    Now if you have a problem judging the colour balance of a print, then yes it would be a royal pain.
    Color enlargers may be cheap - the bigger obstacle is finding one since no one wants to ship enlargers. But you don't need one even more so than you don't need a processor. I made a lot of color prints in the 80s and again when I took it back up in the 90s. I never owned a color enlarger. Filters work fine. As far as hardware outlay the only thing you really need that you won't already have for black and white is a set of color printing filters.


    Quote Originally Posted by RedSun View Post
    You almost never do color printing in open trays. You need to invest a film/print processor. Also, by not doing in the open tray, it takes some of the enjoyment away from printing photos. You can't see the images coming up.

    As to the enlarger, all enlargers can do B&W, but only the color head can do color printing. You can argue that any BW enlargers can do color printing with proper filters, but clearly that is a pain to do that.
    It is NOT a pain. Changing filtration with a colorhead takes a couple of seconds, with filters maybe 15-30 seconds. Far from a pain. Color heads are nice but more for the diffusion (I'll scarf up the first one ready to go I find locally for my D2 to use for black and white for that reason) than the filter changes.

    This is, I think, a fiction promoted in the photo press of the 70s when color printing started to take off. It's just not true.

    Same for the processor as I said.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    It's really because there's far more controls and variables with B&W film processing and printing as a consequence thre's actually far more to learn and discuss..

    I used to do a lot of colour processing mostly E6 (E3/4 before that) and some Cibachrome/Ilfochrome printing, and also some C41 negs and RA-4 prints. Howevever once mastered there's few variables.

    Ian
    And this I think hits closer to the truth. You have some variables - you can dodge and burn as in black and white but the dynamic range of C41 makes this less needed. You can even burn with a different filter pack (and in that case the colorhead will become a lot handier than swapping filters, though I've done it with filters - but then I have an RA4 safe safelight which helps that a lot) but doing that is often tricky to get right and easy to overdo. In my experience it's more of an emergency measure to rescue very mixed lighting than a routine process.

    You used to have some contrast control, perhaps equal to about a half grade of B&W paper numbers, with different papers with Kodak's Portra/Supra/Ultra triad, but that's long gone. You an reportedly manipulate contrast a bit with developer additives (search site for details, I've not tried it) but at the reported expense of developer life and again, it's said to be not much range.

    It is, when it comes down to it, just not as much fun for many of us, nor do the results vary so much from a hybrid product squirted out of an ink jet as a beautiful silver print varies from that in black and white. I shoot color but I currently project it, scan it, or get commercial prints made. I may venture back into color in the darkroom, but considering my lack of time I'd rather devote what little darkroom time I have to black and white which I find more fun.
    Last edited by Roger Cole; 11-07-2012 at 12:41 PM. Click to view previous post history.

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