Shooting in Black & White

CP_TT_se1 | Dave Young Fotografia The more I use my X-Pro1 Fuji the more I want to use it. It’s almost like a drug coursing through me, and when I’m not out with it, I’m randomly shooting things around the house, just for the fun of it. Just for the sake of using it, just for the sake of trying to find the optimum way of using it. It’s become a bit of a joke around here, me sticking my camera in the faces of my Wife and youngest and rattling off a few snaps, then scurrying off to download the images to my laptop or desktop and finally once I’ve finished processing them as I like to, simply deleting them.

The Fuji bug has bitten hard, and it’s one I’m not too ashamed of. However, for all of the wonderful colours that the Fuji is capable of producing straight from the camera, I still like the black and white renderings best, and even if I’m not too keen on the black and white straight out of the camera (SOOC), I can easily manipulate and process thanks to the NiK Software Silver Efex program I have, and some rather interesting presets I sometimes use in Lightroom too.

Fuji offers a range of in-camera settings for Black and white, all ideally suited to handling high ISO levels.

Personally I like to set my X-Pro up with the H tone at +1, the S tone +2 NR -1 DR100 and the standard B&W mode. Although the B&W colour filter modes work really well, I find that they can affect different colours quite dramatically, so you can end up with some not so pleasing effects under certain circumstances, especially where people are involved where the colour filters can have an effect on the skin tone.


As a general guide if you choose to shoot with the filters, the yellow filter can smooth out skin tones, the red filter leads to a general increase in the contrast, and the green filter often enhances the contrast in landscapes with the trees and grass, but will reduce the contrast in clouds and sky.

If I choose to use a filter setting, then my go to tends to be the yellow filter - it gives a nice washed out tone to images, and if required a simple tweak in PS or Lightroom can get the image to how I want it.

If all else fails, as I tend to shoot in RAW and jpg, I use the RAW file and process in Nik Silver Efex. I’ve found the best method to do this is to apply a flattening preset first in Lightroom to mute the colours in the file and then open in Silver Efex. From there, I simply switch through the preset B&W options until I find what I like and tweak accordingly. If I particularly like the finished article, there is the option to save as a preset for next time.

Looking through my collection of images, it’s apparent since I’ve owned my Fuji, I’m shooting more and more B&W images than ever. I don’t see that trend changing much - indeed as time goes by, I think the collection will just grow and grow!

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