b/w filters/film for wild flowers

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Hello, I will be going after some shots of spring wild flowers(orchids) in a couple of months. I would really like to do b/w and was wondering about any specific filters for tone enhancement and film choice. I'll be using the Mamiya 120 macro along with some off camera flash. I was thinking about a deep yellow filter and FP4+ film as a start? I have never done this type of photography, so I'll take all the suggestions I can get. I'll be doing my own development and printing. I know that some may ask, why not color for this? My love for b/w is to great! B/w is where it's at for me! Thanks to everyone

-- Rick Obermeyer (obermeyer_rick@si.com), February 29, 2000


I have'nt used the Ilford, but it is a good film. As for filters, about all I can tell you is that it will lighten its own color and darken its complementary, so a yellow would lighten yellow and yellow-orange and darken blue. I have taken to using a #23 light green for a lot of my foliage stuff. It keeps the bluish shadows much more open than a yellow, but I dont have any bright colored flowers in them so I cant say for sure.

-- Tony Brent (ajbrent@mich.com), March 01, 2000.

The answer to your question is yes; you've got it covered. Some of my prettiest negatives have come from FP4+, and by the way, I find it responds very nicely to XTOL 1:3.

The yellow filter will make a yellow flower look white, a condition I prefer to leaving it a mid-tone and looking more like the stem.

-- Brian Hinther (BrianH@sd314.k12.id.us), March 01, 2000.

The choice of filter will depend upon the colours, and their intensity, in the image. I would certainly want to have light yellow, orange and light green filters. Depending on the colour of the flowers and the foliage, red, a darker green and light blue (especially if there is snow surrounding the plant) may also be useful. A good guide to filters is in Ansel Adams' "The Negative", which is possibly the best guide to black and white photography available.

-- fw (finneganswake@altavista.net), March 02, 2000.

An add-on question. I've been wondering how many people are doing B&W macro photography, especially nature oriented. I've been contemplating adding a macro lens, but I, too, am wed to B&W and have had difficulty finding examples of B&W macro work (aside from some staged still lifes). Any comments or ideas?

-- Chris Werner (cbwerner@att.net), March 03, 2000.

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