Black and White Film

Beginner photographer’s guide to black and white film

Black and white film

Black and white film negatives.

At this time, black and white film is categorized largely as an ‘art medium’, despite the fact that for extra than a century nearly all images were shot in monochrome. The simplicity and power that result, while still keeping a huge range of tones, means that black and white film lends itself to many photographic subjects.

With the notable exception of Agfa Scala, all black and white film is developed to produce a negative image from which prints are usually created.

The color temperature of light sources will not affect the final image, as opposed to color film. This can make black and white film beneficial when shooting photographs when there is a mixture of different light sources, or when the color temperature the lights is unknown.

Types of black and white film

There are two sorts of black and white film: traditional and chromogenic.

With regular films, the image on the negative is formed out of clumps of silver
salts. The texture this creates is usually especially pleasing with faster types of such films. On the other hand, while chromogenic films capture the image with silver crystals, the negative itself is developed applying a dye, which is released during the chemical processing stage (comparable to the way in which color negatives operate).

A important benefit of chromogenic film is the fact that it is far more tolerant of exposure inaccuracy. The film speed could be changed from ISO 50 to ISO 800 for every shot, and nonetheless be processed ordinarily.

Surreal effects Almost alien looking shots can be taken with black and white infrared film. Everyday tones will be shifted and hidden patterns often emerge. The overall impact is spectacular. Numerous such infrared films are out there, but their sensitivity to infrared light varies. The most sensitive create the most dramatic final results but are notoriously challenging to deal with. Those with less sensitivity are simpler to make use of but have results closer to standard black and white film. For ideal final results with all such films, a deep-red filter must be utilized to block out as much visible light as possible.

Infrared black and white film

Slow film

This category of film ranges from about ISO 25 to ISO 100. In bright conditions, slow films create exceptionally fine-grained results with very good image detail and contrast. Think about using slow films for subjects such as natural history, portraits and landscapes, especially when using a tripod is an option.

Medium film

Ranging in speed from ISO 125 to 400, these are some of the most preferred, general purpose, black and white films. The positive aspects from the additional speed they offer you easily compensates for the slightly more grainy images. Appropriate uses for medium speed films are similar to those for slow films, but these are more appropriate for hand-held photography and do not require a tripod.

Fast films

Fast films are within the range of ISO 400 to ISO 3200. The fastest films display a distinctly grainy appearance when printed. If the topic is chosen with care, this texture could be utilized to enhance the image. These films are ideal for all kinds of low-light conditions, but especially action shots where a fast shutter speed is used.

Push processing

With lots of black and white film (and color slide film), it is possible to boost the sensitivity of a film by giving it extra development at the processing stage. Identified as pushing a film, this indicates that an ISO 400 film could be rated at, say, ISO 1600 – and then developed for longer (or at a higher than usual temperature).

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