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Going to Vegas Strip to shoot in Black and White (monochrome), need tips please

ilzho
Super Contributor

Hello:

 

I am heading to Vegas for work for a few days (yes, I know, terrible right?, haha)

 

Even though I have been to Vegas before this will be my first time with my camera equipment as I have only been taking pictures for a year.

 

Someone suggested that at night I take black and white photos.

I have never done this and am seeking some tips.

 

I will have my 7d mark II and 2 lenses.

 

I always shoot in RAW, day or night, doesn't matter, I have lightroom to adjust things later.

 

I noticed on my camera I have under picture style monochrome. I have never used this before.

So should I use this feature for black and white photography or just continue to shoot in standard picture mode and RAW and then convert the color picture to Black and white later in lightroom?

 

I have seen Vegas strip pictures of casinos and fountains in blk and white at night and they look fantastic.

 

I will also take any advice as to where to go to take pictures on the strip.

I plan to go to the Eiffel tower before sunset to try to capture some nice pictures, but again never have been up there.

I am a morning person so I will be up before sunrise and wander around as well.

I will take pictures of the venetian interior (not casino area) and some others as they have some cool interiors.

 

So any advice or tips is always appreciated.

 

Thank you,

David

31 REPLIES 31

Ray-uk
Reputable Contributor

Definitely shoot in raw and convert to monochrome afterwards, it will give you much more control in adjusting black/white levels and contrast. There's nothing worse than a flat  & dull monochrome picture.

ebiggs1
Forum Elite

When you shoot raw there is no b&w nor color.  Matter if fact it really makes no difference what you have set in the camera as raw does not use them.  All of that is applied in post and you stated you have LR.  You are good to go.  Set your ISO and exposure and shoot.  Some folks, like me set WB to average again not necessary.

 

The camera settings you choose are there to simply make the jpg thumbnail so you can view the raw file. Otherwise you can't even see a raw file.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

ilzho
Super Contributor

Thank you.

I will just keep my picture in standard mode then and then convert the ones I want to B&W through LR.

 

Some of what has been said is a little confusing, at least to me.

"The camera settings you choose are there to simply make the jpg thumbnail so you can view the raw file."

Let's recap ...

Raw files aren't processed by the camera. The image processor, the DIGIC chip, isn't involved in interpreting the data. The data in a raw file is essentially a digital count of the analog value of light received by the sensor. The embedded jpg info is used for the preview image on the camera's LCD and for histogram calculation.  Plus LR uses it as a starting point for the thumbs. Raw files do not store color. Raw files do not have color space. Raw files do not have WB. Your camera only captures light as it is!

 

This does bring up another point about raw files, all converters are not the same.  When LR imports files, it uses ProPhoto RGB which is a much larger color space but that is OK even if it doesn't help, it might.  Other converters don't do this and use sRGB, etc.

 

Someone mentioned seeing the image on the camera's LCD might be helpful but keep in mind it an LR will be different.  They are not the same. The JPEG image used for the LCD image on the camera's LCD is also used for histogram calculation. The histogram can be helpful in judging correct exposure.

 

The biggest advantage to raw files is a larger bit storage.  jpg are only 8-bit.  Some DSLRs use a higher bit rate in rendering a jpg but essentially you still have an 8-bit jpg.

 

 Shoot raw and you will be fine. Have a great trip! Smiley Happy

 

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

TTMartin
Respected Contributor

@ilzho wrote:

Hello:

 

I am heading to Vegas for work for a few days (yes, I know, terrible right?, haha)

 

Even though I have been to Vegas before this will be my first time with my camera equipment as I have only been taking pictures for a year.

 

Someone suggested that at night I take black and white photos.

I have never done this and am seeking some tips.

 

I will have my 7d mark II and 2 lenses.

 

I always shoot in RAW, day or night, doesn't matter, I have lightroom to adjust things later.

 

I noticed on my camera I have under picture style monochrome. I have never used this before.

So should I use this feature for black and white photography or just continue to shoot in standard picture mode and RAW and then convert the color picture to Black and white later in lightroom?

 

I have seen Vegas strip pictures of casinos and fountains in blk and white at night and they look fantastic.

 

I will also take any advice as to where to go to take pictures on the strip.

I plan to go to the Eiffel tower before sunset to try to capture some nice pictures, but again never have been up there.

I am a morning person so I will be up before sunrise and wander around as well.

I will take pictures of the venetian interior (not casino area) and some others as they have some cool interiors.

 

So any advice or tips is always appreciated.

 

Thank you,

David


As long as you are saving the RAW file the color information will be there no matter what picture style you choose.

 

However if you choose a monochrome picture style your photo review on your rear LCD will show in black and white. That could be helpful for you to see how it looks in B&W.

 

Just make sure you are saving the RAW file, if you use a monochrome picture style and only save JPGs there will be no color information saved. 

"As long as you are saving the RAW file the color information will be there no matter what picture style you choose.

 

However if you choose a monochrome picture

style your photo review on your rear LCD will show in black and white. That could be helpful for you to see how it looks in B&W."

 

 

It could be helpful, but "how it looks in B&W" can be deceptive. When you're editing a RAW file, you have a lot of control over the relative color strengths, and those settings can have an effect on how the picture will appear in B&W. So what you see on the back of the camera can be regarded as merely a starting point. It's analogous to using different colored filters when shooting with B&W film. In fact, on at least some cameras the Monochrome picture style gives you the option of selecting among several standard filter options.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA

TTMartin
Respected Contributor

@RobertTheFat wrote:

 

 

It could be helpful, but "how it looks in B&W" can be deceptive. When you're editing a RAW file, you have a lot of control over the relative color strengths, and those settings can have an effect on how the picture will appear in B&W. So what you see on the back of the camera can be regarded as merely a starting point. It's analogous to using different colored filters when shooting with B&W film. In fact, on at least some cameras the Monochrome picture style gives you the option of selecting among several standard filter options.


I think all Canon cameras that use Picture Styles (all current cameras) allow you to choose the 'color' filter when shooting black and white. That filter choice would be reflected on the LCD. But, Robert is correct you could change that filter color later on when doing post processing and get a completely different look. 

ScottyP
Respected Contributor

The color adjustments in LR for luminance and saturation are great in black and white. It basically lightens or darkens things that are a certain color even though it is not showing up as color.  Use the little color picker tool and put it on what you want to play with and experiment with increasing or decreasing. 

Scott

Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?

TCampbell
Esteemed Contributor

For B&W conversion, Nik Silver Efex is extremely good.  Now that it's owned by Google, it's also free (I got it before it was owned by Google and you actually had to pay for it.)

 

It's conversion and control features are great -- but if you've never used it (or any of the Nik filters) then find some tutorial videos.  It's fairly easy to use.

 

BTW, this doesn't replace Lightroom or Photoshop or anything else... it typically runs as a "plug-in".

 

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da