B&W and Monochrome

Those of us with digital cameras are advised to shoot in RAW and convert to B&W post-camera. Best of all though by shooting RAW & JPG on a monochrome setting I get to see the tones and have an idea of what the RAW conversion will look like.

Often though I do not do anything with RAW files because my software cannot transfer them via Bluetooth & needs a physical connection (which I have but do not always use). Partly too, because I do not fully understand colour as B&W and so make do with the JPG outcome. Now however is as good a time as any to stretch my knowledge.

B&W images rely just as much if not more, on complementary colours for contrast otherwise some hues can all resemble each other and the greyscale image becomes flat – these are RED:GREEN; BLUE:ORANGE; YELLOW:PURPLE.

Looking at how colour filters work with B&W has also helped me to understand the complementary relationships – (these are simulated in Lightroom)

B&W with Red filter effect: ” turns a blue sky almost black and makes clouds stand out. If you like dramatic b&w landscapes, you should definitely experiment with a red filter! “
B&W with Red filter effect : “contrasts with drama & illuminates flowers such as poppy”
B&W with Orange filter effect: “For buildings and cityscapes, gives brick and warm-coloured materials vibrant tone to stand out against the sky. “
B&W with Yellow filter effect: “improves plant photography, making foliage and light-coloured flowers more luminous. “
B&W with Green filter effect: ” for photographing nature and used in landscape photography too – can enhance the appearance of grass and lighten the sky. “
B&W with Blue filter effect: ” rarely used in B&W photography because it darkens colours and reduces contrast. Suitable for early morning scenes or hazy mountains with a serene atmosphere.”

Do we with DSLRs need cool or warm colour filters?
With editing software the answer is superficially no but “since digital photography is all about the intensity & quality of light, lens filters are often necessary to modify the light before it enters the lens.”*
Even post-processing cannot improve poor lighting

And of course B&W greyscale is not the only monochrome (one-colour). Added to that are all the tints of sepia or selenium as well as split toning the lights and darks in other hues.

Often where glass and sky meet the outcome is a natural monochrome

Sometimes a JPG suffices to say all that can be said in B&W!
* see "Lens Filters Explained"
Image quotes from "How to Use Colour Filters in B&W Photography"

Introspectives:  thinking out loud with an aim to improve and learn more about photography. Hence the images are not always for show – feedback is welcome.
And thanks to Patti & this week’s Lens Artists Photo Challenge for the opportunity to look at Monochrome