Friday, July 1, 2011

Black & White Photography-Getting That Grainy Look

I've learned through trial and error, lots of error, how to get that grainy look I love in black and white images.

The three top ones were taken with my digital camera. They were all greatly underexposed (too dark). When I lightened them in IPhoto you could see all the colored pixels, which doesn't look good in a color photo. Unless you're trying to do something funky, which I very well may try at a later date!

But after changing them to black and white, the pixels now give a grainy look. I'm very happy to have stumbled on this, since I love, love, love a grainy b&w photo.

The bottom three were taken with true black and white film. And now that I'm comparing the two, the bottom ones are grainier. Is that a word? Should it be 'more grainy'? I still have one roll of b&w film left which I'll soon shoot. It's just too bad that the processing will be over $20.

And now that I've gotten used to instant feedback on a digital camera, it'll be hard as the dickens to take photos and not know if the exposure is correct. For me, that used to be the fascination of a film camera. You know, it's like being pregnant and not finding out the sex of the baby until after it's born. But now I want to know immediately! And I'm talking about photos, not babies.

*What is the dickens, and not Charles? That's just one of our 'southernisms'. But who knows what it means? We also say, "He's mean as the dickens." That doesn't make much sense either.


jgr said...

Hi Debbie,
Thank you for your comment, it's so nice to 'meet' you!!! Your photos are beautiful. To answer your question about ideas for your collage: yes! I have some-it sounds like you have some really interesting 'ingredients'.

GretchenJoanna said...

The mother and child photo captivates me.

Left-Handed Housewife said...

I love grainy b&W photographs, too, and think yours are beautiful. Do you ever develop and print your own film? My husband did for years, but digital has overtaken him and I wonder if he'll ever go back ...


libbyquilter said...

the first photo is full of serenity. very nice.
it's interesting to see what good things a bit of 'grain' can add to a shot.


Pom Pom said...

Oh, they are all fascinating, Debbie! Well done! Smart!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I adore black and white! Everyone looks better and it seems truer somehow.

debbie bailey said...


I've never developed film but would love to some day.