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Photography Question 
Sisterlisa B
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/21/2007

BW Photos, what's the difference

What, in your opinion, makes some BW photos better than others?

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7/20/2007 10:53:17 AM

Craig m. Zacarelli
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/3/2005
  sharpness, contrast, composition, subject... pretty much the same as a color photo.. but in B&W!

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7/20/2007 11:00:34 AM

John P. Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/8/2001
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  Type of film, if the picture was taken traditionally. So many different kinds of film and differences in results - little grain, lots of grain, tendencies toward higher contrast and deeper blacks.

Expertise of the printer in the wet darkroom. Use of purposeful burning and dodging.

Creative adjustment of exposure [in-camera] and use of different stregths of chemical baths or developing time. Historically, a wide array of papers that is slowly disappearing.

In digital - whether the camera was set to monochrome in-camera or whether the B&W effect was achieved using Desaturation or Channel Mixer [Photoshop.]

Proper use of Shadows/ Highlights, Brightnes/Contrast, the Unsharp Mask.

In either film or digital, a decent subject, proper lighting, effective composition, proper exposure achieved - possibly through bracketting.

The photographer's ability to visualize how a color "scene" will appear in monochrome. [Note, one can be very pleasnatly surprised when s/he decolorizes a color image - sometimes it can blow one's mind.]

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7/20/2007 11:15:33 AM

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