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Is it really black and white?

From: Foundations of Photography: Black and White

Video: Is it really black and white?

Before we get started, I want to get an ugly truth out of the way. The term 'black and white' is a misnomer. Here is an image that contains only black and white--that is, every pixel is either completely black or totally white. But when we think of black-and-white images we usually envision something more like this, that is, something with gray in it, lots of gray, lots of different shades of gray. Now there is still black and white in this image, but we also have all that wonderful gray that makes all those intermediate tones.

Is it really black and white?

Before we get started, I want to get an ugly truth out of the way. The term 'black and white' is a misnomer. Here is an image that contains only black and white--that is, every pixel is either completely black or totally white. But when we think of black-and-white images we usually envision something more like this, that is, something with gray in it, lots of gray, lots of different shades of gray. Now there is still black and white in this image, but we also have all that wonderful gray that makes all those intermediate tones.

So in this course every time I say black and white, I should really be saying grayscale, but our photographic tradition equates the term 'black and white; with grayscale. Now I'm not just being stuffy here. Once we get to post-production it's actually important to understand the difference between these two terms because it is possible to create a purely black-and-white image from a color original. So I will continue to say black and white, but through the rest of this course we're going to be outright wallowing in gray and spending lots of time thinking about and manipulating shades of gray.

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Image for Foundations of Photography: Black and White
Foundations of Photography: Black and White

39 video lessons · 23923 viewers

Ben Long
Author

 
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  1. 8m 25s
    1. Welcome
      1m 24s
    2. Why black and white?
      5m 12s
    3. Suggested prerequisites
      53s
    4. Using the exercise files
      56s
  2. 19m 43s
    1. Is it really black and white?
      1m 9s
    2. How gray corresponds to color
      4m 38s
    3. The medium of black and white
      3m 5s
    4. The vocabulary of black and white
      4m 46s
    5. The physiology of black and white
      2m 22s
    6. How a camera's image sensor captures an image
      3m 43s
  3. 32m 46s
    1. Preparing the camera
      3m 34s
    2. Light revisited
      6m 3s
    3. Seeing in black and white
      2m 21s
    4. Taking a black-and-white expedition
      1m 17s
    5. Finding and shooting a black-and-white image
      11m 14s
    6. Shooting a tone-based subject
      2m 0s
    7. Exposing for black and white
      6m 17s
  4. 1h 38m
    1. The nature of grayscale images
      3m 33s
    2. Converting to black and white using Photoshop CS4 or CS5
      6m 17s
    3. More about the Black & White dialog box
      3m 19s
    4. Converting to black and white using Black & White adjustment layers
      3m 55s
    5. Converting to black and white in Camera Raw
      4m 5s
    6. Making an advanced tonal correction
      17m 33s
    7. Doing more tonal corrections
      14m 6s
    8. Calming down highlights
      10m 4s
    9. Vignetting
      8m 58s
    10. The trestle images
      2m 39s
    11. Handling tricky skies
      2m 43s
    12. Doing a selective black-and-white conversion
      2m 23s
    13. Toning
      1m 19s
    14. Split-toning
      2m 19s
    15. High-key and low-key images
      2m 32s
    16. Diffusion
      4m 40s
    17. Using Nik Software's Silver Efex Pro 2 plug-in
      7m 46s
  5. 24m 14s
    1. Selecting a printer
      5m 17s
    2. Preparing the image for print
      8m 30s
    3. Configuring the Print dialog
      5m 9s
    4. Evaluating a print
      5m 18s
  6. 43s
    1. Goodbye
      43s

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