Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I shoot a lot of B&W film.  I keep a Contax TVS on my belt usually loaded with a fast T Grain film like T Max 400 (pushed to 800) or T Max 3200 or Ilford Delta 3200.  I often have a slower emulsion film loaded into the xPan and have been known to waste a few sheets of 4x5 as well.  It only makes sense then to try the DP1 for B&W.  Bottom line is that I like it for B&W, I like it a lot.

When I bought a digital camera I went from shooting 2 rolls of film a month to shooting twice that many images a day.  The expectations I have are that I will spend about as much time per image as I did in the darkroom.  How foolish am I.  Instead I have all of these images processed just enough to see they have potential and then no further.  "I'll get back to them later."

The slowness "Problem" with the DP1 is conditioning me to once again think more and shoot less.  This thinking more is absolutely crucial for B&W.  It's years of looking at tones, shapes, lines etc and trying to determine how the B&W film will see the colors.  Suddenly with digital it's all about color.  Others such as my friend Dan Sniffin have advised me that I need to slow down.   They're right of course but hey...individual images are free after all aren't they?

These images were all shot in RAW, in color of course, processed in SPP.  The process I have been using is to de saturate the image in SPP and boost the contrast a little.  I try manipulating the Fill Light slider a bit but usually don't love the results.  I save the file as TIFF and have a look at it in Aperture.  Once again it seems that few of the Aperture adjustments (or CS3 adjustments) are really needed.  I'm at the start of the learning curve.  I'm thinking there are some really good B&W's in this camera.

1 comment:

obakesan said...

some intersting points there. I'm also finding that I make less prints than I used to, but perhaps now I publish more on the WWW than make prints for my walls ... and perhaps those that I do print are more static than they once were.

on another note, the mountain in the background there reminds me a lot of Mt Lindsay back at home. Like this image