How To Edit In Black And White
While Mastin Labs has three packs that contain at least one black and white film emulation preset, only one pack is all black and white. You can find Acros 100 in the Fuji Everyday Original pack and Tri-X 400 in the Adventure Everyday Original pack.
But, it's the Artisan B&W (formerly Ilford Original) pack that will capture the hearts of the real black and white purists out there. With three presets based on black and white Ilford films in addition to some shooting and processing emulation options unique to this pack, Artisan B&W is the one to check out if you're looking for a quintessential Black and White look.
The three film emulation presets in our Artisan B&W pack offer distinct black and white styles and are coupled with settings to recreate paper tone and color filter effects for major versatility and variety. All three of the presets include versions to echo the grain of either 35mm or medium format film.
Pan F is a deep and rich, high contrast black and white film. It's perfect for moody shots and features super fine grain. Looking to enhance the contrasty drama in an image, Pan F is the way. You'll get the deepest shadows and skin tones with this preset.
In the middle of the pack, we've got the medium grain, medium contrast HP5. HP5 is an excellent all-arounder and is perfect for street photographers and photojournalistic shooters. The grain is a little more coarse than what you'll find in Pan F, but it's still smooth and refined.
Delta 3200 is a fast, ISO 3200 film, and as such, heavy film grain is part of the territory. Its chunky grain structure is the heart and soul of the preset. Delta 3200 has a glowing quality and a marked luminance, and it shines on simple images. If the 35mm grain is looking a little too fierce for your tastes, you can tone it down by selecting the medium format version.
So those are the presets, but what are those paper tone and color filter options? I'm glad you asked! Ilford makes warm-tone and cool-tone paper options in addition to neutral paper. Included in the Artisan B&W pack are simulations of both of those alternative paper choices created from actual prints. The color filter settings correspond to glass filters you can put on your lens that alters the way the film in the camera sees colors and thus processes the scene.
For example, a red filter used with black and white film will darken blue skies to add drama, a green filter will brighten foliage and other greens in the image, and a yellow filter will boost the luminosity in skin tones.
It doesn't get much more iconic than a sweet black and white edit. As a bonus, our black and white presets are the simplest of all Mastin Labs presets to use for a quick edit. While we will typically recommend our three-step workflow, with our black and white presets, there's no need to adjust white balance unless it's way off, and with a solid starting exposure edits will often end up needing only one-click to look good.
There's one more vital element to get the most from your Ilford Original preset pack, and that's the tone profiles. We've got a whole article about those, and you can find it here:
• HOW TO WORK WITH SHADOWS AND HIGHLIGHTS