Color Filters for Black and White Photography

When you’re shooting with black and white film, you’re dealing with a monochrome scale that reads the colors in all different shades of gray. Depending on the color and the light on that color, you will end up with varying values of gray. Some will be lighter and some will be darker. This is where your contrast comes into play.

A fundamental way of controlling that contrast is through using color filters on your lens. When you use a color filter, your lens allows that color to pass through the lens easily while filtering out the opposite color on the spectrum. For instance, if you’re shooting with a red filter, blue colors will be rendered darker than they would appear if you didn’t use any filter at all. This can dramatically change the contrast and feel of an image.

Using color filters for black and white photography has been around for many years, but it’s easily overlooked by people wanting to just make their adjustments in post. Using the filters from the start is not only a great exercise to pre-visualize before you shoot, but it can also save you even more time in post.

Go grab some color filters and have some fun with it!

Watch this video on How To Use Color Filters!

The KEH team would like to thank Matt Day for creating this blog. To view more of Matt's videos, please visit Matt Day's Youtube channel

View Camera Accessories on KEH.COM