10 Things You May Not Know About Black and White Photography

24

I've been shooting black and white film more and more recently. Here are some of things I've learnt since shooting in black and white.

1. Black and white photography is cheap. Black and white (B&W) film is cheaper than colour. You can often find it reduced in price.

Credits: bsmart

2. Developing B&W film in a lab usually costs a bit more than C-41 colour. However, it’s easy to develop B&W film yourself at home. The cost for developing a roll yourself works out at about £1 (USD 1.50 / EUR 1.20) a roll.

Credits: bsmart

3. If you decide to develop your own B&W film you can keep the developing fluid after use and reclaim the silver which is left over from the developing process. You’ll have to do lots of developing to get any significant quantities of silver, though!

Credits: bsmart

4. Developing your own B&W film requires the following equipment: changing bag, bottle opening, scissors, developing tank and reel, developing fluid, stop bath, fixer, water.

Credits: bsmart

5. It doesn’t really matter if it’s an overcast day when shooting B&W. Clouds are white, so is your film.

Credits: bsmart

6. Printing B&W film is also pretty easy. It’s a great feeling being in charge of the whole photographic process from shooting and developing through to printing.

Credits: bsmart

7. It’s possible to use different colour filters (yellow, orange, and red) to change the tones of the photo. Using filters darken the sky and make clouds look more defined.

Credits: bsmart

8. Because B&W film is cheaper to buy and develop it’s a lot more affordable to try new techniques and experiment.

Credits: bsmart

9. B&W film takes great portraits.

Credits: bsmart

10. Black and White film rocks!

written by bsmart on 2012-05-07 in #gear #tipster

24 Comments

  1. hxloon
    hxloon ·

    All hail to B&W

  2. lakandula
    lakandula ·

    Great tribute to the black and white film! Easy read with lots of awesome shots.

  3. roby
    roby ·

    great article :-)

  4. roby
    roby ·

    oh, and very nice photos! :-)

  5. slumbrnghok
    slumbrnghok ·

    Awesome article :)

  6. chib3h
    chib3h ·

    Too bad black & developing prices and film prices are expensive here... :(

  7. dreadlockboy
    dreadlockboy ·

    yes...i love BW :)

  8. chilledvondub
    chilledvondub ·

    you failed to mention B&W chemicals stink though :P especially Ilfostop its like mouldy vinegar

  9. medeaviii
    medeaviii ·

    what camera was used for these photos? they are very clear and your focus is amazing,...
    the tunnel photo is my favorite

  10. bsmart
    bsmart ·

    All sorts of cameras. The tunnel was taken with a Trip 35. The first and 3rd was a bronica etrs. The second and a few others were with a Pentax me. There's a pinhole shot in there and a holga shot too.

  11. annetsueshalle
    annetsueshalle ·

    i just got my first roll of BW photos! www.lomography.es/homes/annetsueshalle/albums/1842201-we-ar…

  12. 134340
    134340 ·

    great!!

  13. brandkow93
    brandkow93 ·

    great article, i have been saving up my saturated fixer, and im going to borrow equipment for my college and leech out the silver. what camera did you use for the photos?

  14. jeffr
    jeffr ·

    really great article! i hope to develop my own b&w film soon

  15. freckleface
    freckleface ·

    b&w developing truly is the best! Now I just have to figure out the best way to get my prints on here... lol.

  16. bsmart
    bsmart ·

    @freckleface Just scan then and post them up. That's what I've done: www.lomography.es/homes/bsmart/albums/1814962-darkroom-prin…

  17. adash
    adash ·

    £1 (USD 1.50 / EUR 1.20) a roll? What are you using, man? A 500ml bottle of Rodinal will last 100 films and will keep for years, and a kilo of thiosulphate is $5 at your local chemistry supplier. That translates to less than 20p per roll, developed, fixed, dried and ready for scanning.
    BTW, silver stays in the fixer and not in the developer. Well, some may stay in it too, depending on the formula, but generally fixing really removes all undeveloped silver from the emulsion.

  18. adash
    adash ·

    I would however like to know how you keep your negatives so clean. Is it the tap water, or is it the air in my bathroom, but it always has specks and tiny fibers.

  19. alix-mansell
    alix-mansell ·

    Two days ago I ordered 9 rolls of Earl Grey. Yesterday I discovered you cannot use C41 on it. Will someone please tell me what I need to buy (on a budget)? Thanks!

  20. bsmart
    bsmart ·

    @alix-mansell Have you managed to develop your film already?

  21. alix-mansell
    alix-mansell ·

    @bsmart No, not yet but I plan to speak to someone when I have a few rolls under my belt! This is what I'm considering: www.thedarkroom.co.uk/traditional/black-and-white/chemicals… - Just down the road from me :)

  22. bsmart
    bsmart ·

    @alix-mansell You'll also need a changing bag, developing tank, thermometer. You should be able to pick these up pretty cheap on ebay. It looks quite daunting - but is actually pretty easy.

  23. alix-mansell
    alix-mansell ·

    Thanks @bsmart I have those for C-41, now I just need to upgrade to B&W

  24. druid
    druid ·

    appreciate this very much - thanks man!

More Interesting Articles

  • Lomo’Instant Quick Shots: Hannah Brown

    written by hannah_brown on 2014-10-28 in #gear #tipster
    Lomo’Instant Quick Shots: Hannah Brown

    There are so many exciting things you can do with the Lomo'instant camera it's hard to know where to start! We've been giving this lovable Lomo camera the full test drive so that you can experience the full potential of this camera in an instant! Here are some top tips on shooting graffiti and doubles with Hannah Brown.

  • Fantastic Doubles Taken with the Lomography Lady Grey B&W 400

    written by chooolss on 2014-03-20 in #lifestyle
    Fantastic Doubles Taken with the Lomography Lady Grey B&W 400

    We often use black and white film when shooting dramatic portraits, sweeping landscapes, and even in street photography. But did you know that it's just as effective in taking creative doubles, too? Take a look at this selection of lovely lomographs taken by some members of our community!

    2
  • Lomo’Instant Quick Shots: Adriana Brioso

    written by hannah_brown on 2014-12-09 in #gear #tipster
    Lomo’Instant Quick Shots: Adriana Brioso

    There are so many exciting things you can do with the Lomo'instant camera, it's hard to know where to start. We've been giving this lovable Lomo camera the full test drive so that you can experience the full potential of this camera in an instant! Here are some top tips on shooting graffiti and doubles with our UK intern Adriana Brioso.

  • Shop News

    Change the View in an Instant

    Change the View in an Instant

    Extend the Borders of Instant Photography with the World’s Most Creative Instant Camera System Packed With Fun Features and say hello to the Lomo'Instant Camera! The Lomo'Instant is the perfectly sized Instant Camera to take wherever you go! It’s the most creative way to shoot fantastic photos which you can share anywhere and with everyone in an instant.

  • Remainders, Reminders

    written by icequeenubia on 2014-05-16 in #lifestyle
    Remainders, Reminders

    Or some things I found, other than photographs, in a forgotten roll of black and white film.

  • Sonia Goulvent Matches the New Petzval Lens with Expired B&W Film

    written by shibuya on 2014-10-08 in #people #lomoamigos
    Sonia Goulvent Matches the New Petzval Lens with Expired B&W Film

    Sonia pushed the Petzval lens test one step further by shooting with expired black and white film. The results are amazing, and the grain gave life to these beautiful Petzval portraits! Learn more about this photographer and her love for films, and catch a glimpse of her photos, taken in romantic Paris.

  • Station Noir: Black and White Photography in the Summer

    written by melwyn on 2014-08-29 in #lifestyle
    Station Noir: Black and White Photography in the Summer

    Summer is full of color so using black and white film might not be the first thing that comes to mind. Yet the summer sun works out beautifully on black and white film. Like to give it a try? I've come across the best light at the train station during rush hour!

  • Shop News

    Grab a piece of Soviet analogue history!

    Grab a piece of Soviet analogue history!

    The Zenit MF-1 is an authentic part of the Soviet intelligence arsenal. With a tiny body packed full of fantastic features, this subminiature camera is the choice for espionage missions. With only a handful being produced each year, nows your chance to grab hold of this fine piece of photographic equipment! Grab a piece of Soviet analogue history, this tiny camera was the choice for espionage back in the days! Exclusive shipment from Vienna, Austria

  • My Week In Film: December 15th-21st, 2014

    written by alienmeatsack on 2015-01-06 in #lifestyle
    My Week In Film: December 15th-21st, 2014

    Another week in film done. This week, I have more Instax, some Konstruktor, a failed triple exposure of myself and shooting film for international film swaps. And this is just the stuff I’m telling you about.

    4
  • Lomo’Instant Quick Shots: Adam Powell

    written by hannah_brown on 2014-11-04 in #gear #tipster
    Lomo’Instant Quick Shots: Adam Powell

    There are so many exciting things you can do with the Lomo'Instant camera, it's hard to know where to start! We've been giving this lovable Lomo camera the full test drive so that you can experience its full potential in an instant! Here are some top tips on shooting very long exposures in dark places.

    3
  • Exquisitely Gloomy Black and Whites by Cody Thomas

    written by cheeo on 2014-06-05 in #lifestyle
    Exquisitely Gloomy Black and Whites by Cody Thomas

    Sometimes, experiments and curiosity yield the best results. This is what photographer Cody Thomas discovered when he tried out black and white film photography with his Holga camera. See more of his black and white photos after the jump.

    1
  • Shop News

    A quick guide to Inkodye

    A quick guide to Inkodye

    Shake well and apply to fabric. Blot out excess using a paper towel. Create your design using Inkofilm or anything that casts a shadow. Expose to sunlight or bright UV light for 10-20 minutes or until color reaches full saturation. Machine wash using Inkowash to remove unexposed dye. Double your exposure time in overcast weather. Enjoy the "wow" result!

  • Lomo'instant LomoAmigo: Martin Smith

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-02-17 in #people #news #lifestyle #locations #lomoamigos
    Lomo'instant LomoAmigo: Martin Smith

    Martin Smith is a London based film photography fan who was one of the first people to receive the Lomo'instant from the Kickstarter Campaign. Since then he's been avidly shooting around town. Martin chatted to us about his love for instant photography and showed us some of his excellent shots. Read on for the full interview.

    1
  • Film Manipulation: Mixing Bleach, Detergent and Negatives

    written by neonlights on 2014-07-22 in #gear #tipster
    Film Manipulation: Mixing Bleach, Detergent and Negatives

    I've been experimenting with many substances, more or less corrosives, for film manipulation. The images come out so different, that sometimes you can't even recognize them. The pictures in this experiment are a result of mixing bleach and detergent powder.

    1
  • What Photography and Tech Websites are Saying About the New LC-A 120

    written by chooolss on 2014-09-25 in #news
    What Photography and Tech Websites are Saying About the New LC-A 120

    It's only been a few weeks since we launched the newest member of the LC-A family, yet the Internet has already been abuzz with much talk about it. We're thrilled to see all the coverage that photography and tech websites and blogs have given the LC-A 120, so we've rounded up some of them to share with you right here!