Shooting B&W With Digital – Fujifilm X-Pro1

Hi friends,

A minor detour today as I finish some of my older, drafted posts. Here is one from a while back when I was shooting both film and digital:

I have always stated that shooting film is complimentary to shooting digital. With the great advances in electronics (sensors, processors, battery life, etc…), shooting digital is becoming ever more sophisticated and economical. But that can be too much of a good thing – the ability to shoot hundreds of photos and see everything instantly dulls the senses. I simply get too swamped, and started to dread the post processing aspect.

Right now, I enjoy shooting B&W film because it is a handicap that helps me appreciate the process of framing each shot. I hope to take that slowness back to digital. The learning is transferable, and a great way to do this is with the Fujifilm X-Pr01. Its electronic viewfinder is absolutely fantastic in that it can show you the world in black and white. This was something that was only possible with a clumsy special filter in the analog days. Another advantage is that the B&W setting on the X-Pro1 masks the noise at higher ISOs. I’ve experimented with ISO 12800 and even ISO 25600 with great results. This combined with the sharp 35mm 1.4 can open up a lot of shooting possibilities.

So what does all this mean? One challenge that I’ve always wanted to do is to shoot solely in B&W to train my eyes to recognize contrast. I must say that Matt Day is a huge inspiration for me. He showed me that B&W photos can have depth that colour sometimes miss.

I will report back with my learnings. Cheers.

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