A Sampling Of Black And White Treatments

Warning - this post has a bunch of images so might be a little slow to load. Just wanted to drop a note on one of my personal projects - the one that I have been sharing some contact sheets of raw material here and there. I know that the final images will be black and white. I decided that a long time ago. I also know I don't want anything too too pristine in terms of a black and white treatment. I want it to be a bit dirty. Nothing over the top but something that feels the same way it would have if I had shot it on 35mm black and white film with a similar development and printing treatment that I know so well from doing it for decades.

These might not look all that different to you. I think all of them are in the running as a baseline. I didn't do a bunch of other local adjustments or optimization for this particular image but here's a few that I am leaning towards at the moment. Let's call the top image treatment #1 it's based on VSCO 02 Delta 3200. This particular shot was shot with my Fuji X100S. That camera is probably used for over 80% of what I have shot so far for this particular project.

Treatment #2 based on VSCO 01 HP-5 Plus

Treatment #3 based on VSCO 02 Neopan 1600

Treatment #4 based on VSCO 04 Scala 200

Treatment #5 based on VSCO 01 TMAX 3200P

Treatment #6 based on VSCO 01 TRI-X

One of the things that hit me recently was that I have never ever really done any kind of serious project with digital black and white. No kidding. I have played around here and there with it. Maybe posted an image or two in black and white here but in reality most of my black and white has always been shot on film. So in reality this is really going to be the first black and white I have shot with the intent of shooting black and white on digital. This occurred to me as I have been evaluating treatments for this project. I will probably have two different but closely related treatments on for good light and one for low light.

Any particular one you prefer? They are not crazy different. Probably more different than the actual films in truth. Processing and printing variations swamp the difference between real black and white films of similar speed. I don't have any notion right now of whether I will actually use any of my tweaked VSCO presets for final output - I may end up doing the finals in Nik Silver EFEX Pro while using the presets for contact sheets and evaluation. To be determined later.


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