27 April 2010

Visual Journey: Lowhead

I have recently been to Lowhead in Tasmania to try out what an orange filter does to black and white film photography. Supposedly it will darken blue skies and lighten foliage. I used the Bessa R4M on Kodak 400CN. Yes, it is true that you can do the same using digital and I will demonstrate this in my next post. However, you do lose some quality when you apply those filter if you shoot JPEG. So, my advice is to shoot RAW, more on that later.

Anyway, this post is about film Black and White, not digital. The beach we visited is normally deserted most of the time, untouched and serene as always has been. That's why I like it. Occasionally, surfers come here to surf.

Before we reached the beach, the weather was gloomy and it had rained a little, so I was not very hopeful of what I can get. However, when I reach the coast, the wind blew hard, and cleared the gloomy clouds and with the sun finally out, I set up my camera and took some shots.
This is what I got...and these are without the orange filter...

As you can see, the skies are already quite dark, without the filter. I am very happy with the look, without anything done in Photoshop except dust removal and cropping. I can never get such results using digital unless I use the red filter in Photoshop or other software like Nik Silver Efex Pro. Also, contrast always seem lacking in black and white digital files.

As I said earlier, I did try a few shots with orange filter and this is a comparison of before and after shots...

Without an orange filter

With an orange filter- You can see that, the skies are darker and the foliage is brighter or lighter in colour. A red filter on the other hand will make this even more pronounced but it may be too excessive. The effect you get from an orange filter looks just fine.

Here's another one with the orange filter...

With the skies darken, it makes the clouds stand out, great if you want to create drama in the clouds. I will show you how to do it in digital in my next post...Check back later...


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