The World’s Most Creative Instant Camera: Now Available For Pre-Order

Header
Have an account? Login | New to Lomography? Register | Lab | Current Site:

10 Things You May Not Know About Black and White Photography

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.

Photo by 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.

Photo by 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!

Photo by 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.

Photo by bsmart

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

Photo by 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.

Photo by 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.

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

9. B&W film takes great portraits.

10. Black and White film rocks!

written by bsmart

24 comments

  1. hxloon

    hxloon

    All hail to B&W

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  2. lakandula

    lakandula

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

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  3. roby

    roby

    great article :-)

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  4. roby

    roby

    oh, and very nice photos! :-)

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  5. slumbrnghok

    slumbrnghok

    Awesome article :)

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  6. chib3h

    chib3h

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

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  7. dreadlockboy

    dreadlockboy

    yes...i love BW :)

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  8. chilledvondub

    chilledvondub

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

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  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

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  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.

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  11. annetsueshalle

    annetsueshalle

    i just got my first roll of BW photos! http://www.lomography.com/homes/annetsueshalle/albums/1842201-we-are-young
    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  12. 134340

    134340

    great!!

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  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?

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  14. jeffr

    jeffr

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

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  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.

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  16. bsmart

    bsmart

    @freckleface Just scan then and post them up. That's what I've done: http://www.lomograph(…)rom-1-march

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  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.

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  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.

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  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!

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  20. bsmart

    bsmart

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

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  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: http://www.thedarkro(…)ng-kit.html - Just down the road from me :)

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  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.

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  23. alix-mansell

    alix-mansell

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

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  24. druid

    druid

    appreciate this very much - thanks man!

    about 2 years ago · report as spam

Read this article in another language

This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Spanish, ภาษาไทย, Nederlands, Português, Italiano, 中文(简体版), Deutsch & 中文(繁體版).