Black and White Photography

Photograph the subject in colour to begin with. This has the advantage that during post-processing the individual colour channels are accessible and the subject can be optimised easily. In analog black and white photography, filters need to be placed before the image is captured. Some image editing programs simulate different colour filters so that the user can intuitively use the correct filtration.
If you are using your camera’s RAW format, you can usually activate the b/w mode while capturing the image. Later, if you would like to optimise the image on the computer, you can retrieve the colours. This procedure has the advantage that you can control the black and white effect with your camera.

The effect of the filters
Image areas that are impacted by the filters colour, show up in a lighter shade of grey (e.g. landscape – green leaves and grass are a lighter shade). The other colours show up in a darker shade of grey.


Red filter

  • Lighter skin tone in portraits
  • Emphasises clouds and makes the sky appear considerably more dramatic


Green filter

  • Emphasises the differences in brightness between the different shades of green
  • Is mainly used in landscape photography


Yellow filter

  • Reduces haziness in the atmosphere
  • To achieve an image that is rich in contrast, you can use a polarizing filter when capturing the image.


Comparison of filter effects


For a better comparison, click on the link below for a larger version!

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Original image


The Way of St. James in "Bercianos del Real Camino" (Castille and León)
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