Black & White & Color at the Same Time

by | Apr 9, 2020

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

These days most DSLRs and mirrorless cameras offer built-in black & white or sepia capture modes and some even offer other options, Canon’s Nostalgia Picture Style, for example, that let you enhance the gray tones in an image while making the rest of the colors less vibrant producing an old-fashioned hand-colored look. Sure, you can always make these kinds of adjustments after the fact using Adobe Photoshop or your favorite digital imaging software but shooting directly in black and white impacts how you see while making the image and getting instant feedback helps focus your vision.

Tip #1: I’m not afraid of losing the color image for future use because I can always capture color and monochrome image files at the same time and so can you! Almost every camera offers the ability to simultaneously capture RAW+JPEG files and these same cameras also allow you to capture monochrome only images as JPEG files. If you set your camera for RAW+JPEG capture then select the monochrome effect that you want, you’ll end up with two files: one in color (RAW) and the other in black and white (JPEG.)

How I made this shot: I photographed this Oldsmobile at Castle Rock, Colorado’s annual Father’s Day car show, that I assume may be canceled this year, although I hope not. The camera used was my old, but beloved Olympus E-P3 with Olympus M.14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II R lens at 17mm. Program mode exposure, my favorite for use at car shows, was 1/500 sec at f/10 and ISO 200.

Tip #2: It’s a trend: Many DSLRs and mirrorless cameras have dual memory card slots let you capture RAW files on one memory card and JPEG image files on the other. The Nikon D780 I recently tested for Shutterbug has twin slots; you can read my review of it here. ) All of which means that you can put all of your color RAW files on one card and the monochrome files on the other. Give it a try.





Ilight.bookf you enjoyed today’s blog post and would like to treat Joe to a cup of Earl Grey tea ($2.50), click here.

Along with photographer Barry Staver, Joe is co-author of Better Available Light Digital Photograph that’s now out-of-print but new copies are still available from Amazon for $21.88 with used copies starting at $6.33, a bargain for one of my favorite books. For some reason, the Kindle price is really high.