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  1. #1
    rcam72's Avatar
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    Problems "seeing" in color due to being a b&w shooter

    Up until a few weeks ago my film experience consisted entirely of b&w work. Any color photography was done digitally. When I did decide to shoot color film I didn't (still don't) feel at all comfortable trusting my ability to visualize the final image in color because I kept thinking in terms of black, grey, white. I should get over this if I keep shooting color, just like I managed to get used to thinking in greyscale, but I was wondering if anyone else had this problem when going from one format to the other?

    Thanks,
    Raul

  2. #2
    brucemuir's Avatar
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    Absolutely.
    I started my serious photography in a Community College based program and for about the first 2 years it was all b/w.

    When it came to color it was like I had a mental block for quite awhile but it does pass.

  3. #3
    wotalegend's Avatar
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    I have the opposite problem. Can either of you tell me how to "see" in B&W? I have been using B&W film for 40+ years and I still can't visualize things in tones of grey.

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    brucemuir's Avatar
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    Wota, they do make a viewing filter that "approximates" grayscale.

    That is, if you're not being facetious

  5. #5
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    I got a critical lesson in seeing color learning how to do C prints with an enlarger and color negs. The color theory classes in my painting classes helped too.

  6. #6
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    You just have to practice a little bit to get used to "WYSIWYG." And learn how that will drastically change things compared to b/w, with which we become so accustomed to "translating" everything in our heads that it becomes more natural to us than WYSIWYG. (Just like looking at negative feels completely natural to us once we have printed a little bit, but "difficult" at first.) With color, there is no grayscale to hide behind. It is much more difficult because it requires much more attention to detail, IMHO. Many subjects that don't naturally lend themselves to color require a different approach than you would take with b/w. You might find that different compositions or technical considerations work better, for instance, moving in closer to an object, or using less depth of field for a certain subject than you would with b/w. But all it takes is practice. And if you print your own film, you will learn all the quicker.
    Last edited by 2F/2F; 08-29-2011 at 02:42 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  7. #7
    ChristopherCoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brucemuir View Post
    Wota, they do make a viewing filter that "approximates" grayscale.

    That is, if you're not being facetious


    I'd like to learn more about this if possible. I have the same issue as Wota...

  8. #8
    brucemuir's Avatar
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    CC,
    I think the wratten # was 90 but I never used one.
    There is also several made by filter companies other than Kodak.

  9. #9
    rcam72's Avatar
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    Here's the link to Tiffen's b&w viewing filter:

    http://www.tiffen.com/displayproduct...s&itemnum=BWVF

    I think part of my issue comes from having defective color vision to begin with. I agree that printing my own negs would probably be the best way to get through the block, but I'd have to get a new head for my enlarger. So in the meantime I'll keep shooting cheap color film and make judgements from negative scans.
    Last edited by rcam72; 08-31-2011 at 03:52 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: typo

  10. #10
    jbl
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    I also have a hard time visualizing in b&w, but I've done a lot less of it. I did try the #90 filter, but haven't found that it helps much, maybe I'm not understanding how to use it. Colors still come through, so it doesn't totally render light brown.

    I know this thread started on color visualization, but if anyone can recommend anything for b&w, I'd appreciate it. Maybe just years of practice .

    -jbl

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