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  1. #1
    sntm's Avatar
    sntm is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Default B&W pictures for do-it-yourselfers

    I really really want to do some of the nude baby boy pics as discussed in the lounge. Questions for those who have done them at home (can't afford the pro right now and want them before X-mas)

    1. I like the velvet idea. How much yardage to drape over things nicely? Which works better, white or black?

    2. What film speed? Did you use B&W or color and then develop as B&W? Any cheap places to develop B&W film (our local place charges $14 and reprints are pricy)

    3. Any lighting tricks?

    any other helpful info would be great!!! i'm totally on the collage idea now for gifts and hope to do it soon.


    shannon
    not-even-pregnant-yet-overachiever
    trying-to-conceive :)
    PREGNANT! EDD 6/9/03
    mama to Jack 6/6/03

  2. #2
    heva Guest

    Default RE: B&W pictures for do-it-yourselfers

    Shannon, we have taken all of our photos of Nash with a digital camera, and you can change the colors of the photo to B&W using a computer... But that probably isn't helpful, since you're using an SLR. Wanna borrow our camera?

  3. #3
    Momof3Labs is offline Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
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    Default RE: B&W pictures for do-it-yourselfers

    We used B&W film; after talking to a few places, we found out that we would get better pictures than if we used color film and developed it as B&W. Fortunately B&W film is about the same price as color film - we got ours at Target. We developed the pictures at Wal-Mart for the same price as color developing (note that this isn't true B&W developing - some pics came out with a green tinge, some with a red tinge), then picked the pictures we wanted and had B&W reprints done at a nice camera place. It was cheaper than developing all three rolls as B&W in the first place, especially since we didn't use a lot of the pictures.

    FYI - we made three identical collages (like I posted) and then one smaller one with different pictures. So we would have had to order reprints either way.

    Honestly, we took the pictures on a white blanket. Since we were doing close-ups of body parts, you couldn't really see the blanket much. The velvet really wasn't necessary for us. If you are doing full body shots, then the velvet would make sense.

    We used natural light, and lots of it - I'm not sure how a flash would change things.

    Single mom to

    DS ("twice exceptional") - September 2002
    DS - February 2006
    DD - July 2009
    DD - July 2009

  4. #4
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    Default RE: B&W pictures for do-it-yourselfers

    I'm no expert but with my playing around with it...

    I use the digital and then turn them into b/w by clicking one button or using shutterly to do it. You could also do sepia and that is really pretty just a slightly different look. Borrow heva's camera and try it out!

    No idea on how much velvet to buy, but at the studio it seemed about 3 yards were used. Try it with both black and white fabric and see what you like better. I liked the black because of the contrast with his pale little body.

    I always think natural light is better than flash, but now I need to find a good spot in the house to do that!

    They have those disposable b/w cameras too so you could use that and use regular color film in your regular camera at the same time and do both.

    Here is the same pic that you saw of Ryan already, but I left one color, changed one to b/w, did one in sepia and one in blue tint so you can see the difference. Oooh, brain flash: you can always just do color film then scan it high res or get the CD option when you get film developed (although it might be low resolution) and then just use shutterfly or one of those services to do what I just did. It took less than one minute!

    http://www.shutterfly.com/osi.jsp?i=...522580&notag=1
    Mom to R and R

  5. #5
    Dyonia is offline Silver level (200+ posts)
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    Default RE: B&W pictures for do-it-yourselfers

    Hi Shannon-

    Finally, a question I can help with! :) I'm so excited!

    1) Velvet is a great option. 2 or 3 yards of whatever color you pick will be sufficient. Just so you know, velvet runs between 10 and 20 bucks a yard at Joann Fabrics. (Sign up at the store and they will mail you the flyer with coupons in it -- usually there is one for 50% off a single regular priced item. I think they somtimes put them in the Sunday paper ads too) Try eBay for velvets too.

    2) Film speed will depend on whether you want to use a flash or not. Generally 400 is a good all-purpose film that will allow you to handle most lighting situations.

    3) Film type -- here's where it gets tricky because you have a few more choices. You can either use a true B/W film (ie Kodak T-Max or Agfa Agfapan, etc..) or Kodak BWC Black and White Film (a "color" film that prints as black and white). (this link will show you what the BWC film box looks like http://www.kodak.com/eknec/PageQueri...q-locale=en_US)

    I'm thinking that the Kodak BWC will be easier for you to use for a couple reasons: a) it gets around the higher developing expense because it is a C-41 development process just like normal color films, b) you can take it to your regular photofinisher for developing -- no special trips to a specialty lab, and c) reprints will cost the same as normal reprints.

    4) Lighting tricks: My favorite thing to do is use window lighting or natural daylight on an overcast day. The shadows are much softer in this type of indirect lighting, and it is extremely flattering.

    Another trick I've used when there is insufficient natural light is to turn on every single light source available to me. You can get away with this ONLY if you're shooting B/W pics (color film would pick up a wierd cast from the mix of diffrent types of light) I've gotten some extremely good portraits this way. (I have not done mixed lighting with the Kodak BWC film but from looking at the film technical specs, it *should* not have an effect -- but take this with a grain of salt anyway!)

    The last bit of advice I have is to get a couple rolls of film, and have lots fun gettings pics of your darling baby!

    HTH, Donna

  6. #6
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    Default RE: B&W pictures for do-it-yourselfers

    Lori,
    Can you post another picture of your collage? Can't find the last one...
    Lynne
    Mommy to Caleb 3/3/03

  7. #7
    Momof3Labs is offline Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
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    Default RE: B&W pictures for do-it-yourselfers

    Yep, here it is!

    http://www.windsorpeak.com/dc/user_files/1242.jpg

    And note that I just found a black frame and white mat set almost identical to what we used at Tuesday Morning for $7.99 - much less than we spent on the custom frame!
    Single mom to

    DS ("twice exceptional") - September 2002
    DS - February 2006
    DD - July 2009
    DD - July 2009

  8. #8
    Melanie is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Default RE: B&W pictures for do-it-yourselfers

    Lori that is beautiful! What a wonderful idea.

  9. #9
    Momof3Labs is offline Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
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    Default RE: B&W pictures for do-it-yourselfers

    Thank you!! It wasn't our idea - we "stole" it from someone else, but it was still fun and a great hit at Christmas last year!
    Single mom to

    DS ("twice exceptional") - September 2002
    DS - February 2006
    DD - July 2009
    DD - July 2009

  10. #10
    zen_bliss is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Default RE: B&W C-41 processing

    both ilford & kodak make B&W print film that uses the basic commercial C-41 process machines, so you don't have to hemorrhage $$ on processing and wait an extra week. kodak's is "Kodak Select Black & White +" and Ilfords is (if i recall correctly -- i'm all out right now) XP2. i've been using the ilford since college (yeah 10+years) and been very happy with the results. it's about the same price per roll as color but you might have to get it at a photo shop. not sure if target has the kodak.

    this means you can get it processed for $5.99 or whatever good price you can find at the drugstore, target, costco, one hour place, etc. occasionally you'll get a bonehead who sends it back and says "we can't do B&W" even though it says PROCESS C-41 on the label. make sure to put a note in the 'instructions' area.

    if your processor uses kodak machines, you can also specify the 'toning' you want by looking at this chart: http://www.toycamera.com/images/t400.JPG
    in my experience the 'default' can come back either very blue or very sepia, so it's good to decide what you want ahead of time & specify! sepia (middle left on chart) has a very nice, rich, antique look as long as it doesn't go too yellow. sometimes the 'true' b&w looks washed out.

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