Black & White and Color at the Same Time

The (top) RAW file of a classic Ford Model A hot rod was captured using a Canon EOS 1D Mark II N with an EF 28-105mm zoom lens. Exposure was 1/200 sec at f/8 and ISO 100. The bottom monochrome JPEG was made simultaneously as a black & white JPEG file. The only thing different is that the camera’s Picture Style was set for Monochrome mode with the Sepia toning option selected.

Many digital SLRs have built-in black & white or sepia modes and some even offer options that let you enhance gray tones while making the rest of the colors less vibrant producing an old-fashioned hand-colored look. Sure, you can always make these kinds of adjustments after the fact using Adobe Photoshop or your favorite digital imaging software but shooting directly in black and white impacts how you see while making the image and getting instant feedback helps focus your vision. I’m not afraid of losing the color image for future use because I can always capture color and monochrome image files at the same time and so can you!

Tip #1: Almost all digital SLRs offer the ability to simultaneously capture RAW+JPEG files and these same cameras also allow you to capture monochrome only images as JPEG files. If you set your SLR for RAW+JPEG capture then select the monochrome effect you want, you’ll end up with two files: one in color (RAW) and the other in black and white (JPEG.)

Tip #2: Many Canon and Nikon SLRs that have dual memory card slots let you capture RAW files on one memory card and JPEG image files on the other. Yup, that means you can put all your color RAW files on one card and monochromes on the other. Give it a try.

Joe is the author of Creative Digital Monochrome Effects that’s available from your friendly neighborhood camera store or Amazon.


Author: Joe Farace

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