It seems that I have been chosen to provide examples of what is bad about trying to converting a (digital) color image to black & white by Tim Atherton over on the Large Format Photography Forum. I find this midly amusing, as I was not aware that many could figure out from where source I made the intial image. and that it mattered.
As to why I convert color to black and white I will get to in a moment. But at least let me say that when I look at my black and white prints and show them to others, few can distinguish between those I made with my Mamayia 6×7 on Tri-X (developed with HC-110, dilution B, usually N or N+1 development), or my Hasselbald with color film, both films scanned on my Nikon film scanner and subsequently into Photoshop, or those I created with digital capture. hmmmm, much better eyes than me, I suppose. Now I can tell the difference with 35mm Tri-X with HC-110 (B) when I make a 11×14 or larger print.
My goal is usually a black and white print. I like them, they are abstract and yet are easily interputed as reality. I have a greater latitude to work with the tonal ranges to create seperation and the meaning that I want to convey. With color, you don’t usually have a lot of latitude to change the tonal relationships. In the past, to change tonal (color) relationships, you had to use filters over the lens and you were locked into the results. But why be so limited in your creative endenvours with the options that we have today? I am continually amazed at the fine tuning for my black and white images that I can accomplish with the software tool options.
If how you capture an image can impact the final results, how do you think that I made the image with this post; B&W film, Color Film, Color digital capture? No fair looking at my earlier post in which I provide the answer;- )
and again, does it really matter??
Best regards, Doug
P.S. yes, I continue with my connectivity problems, but now WordPress has added to my issues by having me get a new password every couple of days.
Note: I hope the issue with Tim is not that I have recently chosen to move to a warmer print tone. When I was printing the Seagull Oriental papers and subsequently selenium toned the prints, I had chosen a selenium dilution and toning duration to pick up a slight warm tone to anotherwise cool toned paper. I have found that I like an ever warmer tone print and I achieve an image with a lot more life than my old semi-gloss F finish prints. And I still recommend that you read Tim’s blog, as he provides some nice insights, even if he does want to pick on my process;- )