As mentioned in another previous post, I recently photographed a friend’s wedding. I’d decided rather than purely shooting in digital, to also go back to my old favorite – black and white film.

Not just any old black and white film, but Delta 3200 Professional Black and White film.

For those familiar with the effects of different film speeds, you’ll know that the higher the ISO number, the more grainy the result.

Previously, I’d only used 3200 black and white film for architecture photography, but never for weddings (previously the fastest I’d gone for was ISO 1600).

I was pretty happy with the results. It’s much more “arty”, and what I like most is that the photos have more character in them. I still shot the traditional posed and “candid” photos in color, but these black and white photos were fun for me to take, plus my friend also liked the results.

I’m a huge fan of film over digital, in terms of contrast quality anyway, and black and white really work so much better in film.

Despite the fact we see the world in color (well, many of us do), it’s strange that skin tones should look so much more vibrant in black and white. Here is a definitely posed photograph, with my friend’s dress really standing out from the garden in front of her.

It’s difficult to see the grain with these smaller images but enlarge them, and the pixels are definitely noticeable! There is actually quite a bit of color in that garden, so I also took this photo in color with my digital SLR. It’s nice to compare both types of photos, then there’s always the option to see what turns out better.

Using such a fast speed film is a bit of a gamble, and it meant I was walking around all afternoon with two cameras dangling around my neck, but it was worth it. Now for the classic photo, which always gets taken – the bouquet on the ground. I’d taken this photograph angled up, but they turned out better in color. There was too much contrasting light on this particular day – which is where black and white can sometimes fall short.

About Cyrus Ward