Look Inspiration – Red Filtered B&W

November 23, 2015

Dan shares his thoughts on how to emulate shooting black and white with a red filter on front of the lens to give an interesting look.


Look Inspiration – Red Filtered B&W

Emulating A Camera Filter

I learned a brand new technique for Black and White footage this week and I found it amazingly refreshing.

We were aiming to create a late 70s early 80s black and white look and the idea was thanks to the suggestion of the amazing DOP Matt North

The technique is basically called red filtered B&W and emulates placing a red optical filter over the lens when shooting for black and white.

It’s quite a simple idea but gives great results as it drastically changes the image when it comes to skies and skin tones.

I’m sure using the RGB mixer would be a smarter way of getting the “best” B&W image but we wanted to replicate real-life techniques and achieve an older look.

For the same reason, I didn’t use very many windows and no qualifiers at all.

A good source of inspiration is this trailer below for Paper Moon which was shot in the style.

I mention a book called The Age Of Innocence in my insight below and you can find the book here

Enjoy and hopefully you had as much fun as I did with this look!

– Dan

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Homepage Forums Look Inspiration – Red Filtered B&W

  • If you delete the combiner node and wire the green channel to the output you can skip the luminance node

  • I love this look. I’ve played around with RGB mixer and found it both more simple and controllable. Click monochrome and preserve luma then kill G and B. You now have a Red slider that can dial the effect in and out (and increase it to double going up to 2.0)

  • Dan Moran

    Good point! I think I was thinking a little to visually when I built this look. I was also attended when we were building it which always makes me a little less adventurous!

  • Dan Moran

    I never thought about that! I thought the combiner was essential for getting the R output only. I will add a note into the insight above explaining that. Thanks sir!

  • andi winter

    great idea, thanks for sharing! love these analogue digital looks… (or are they digital analog?)

  • Jamied

    I always used to just play with the R, G, or B gain (Pablo equivalent to Primary Bars, Lum Mix = 0) underneath a de-sat. That way you can blend between just red or just blue etc. I still always learn new stuff watching how you did this though, very cool thanks!

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