HOW STUFF WORKS
QUIZZES

FOLLOW US
Shades of Grey: Do you know black-and-white photography?
by Staff
You may know a thing or two about photography, but how much do you really know about photography's black-and-white beginnings? There's a lot more to art's history than the advancements on your digital camera's auto zoom. Take our quiz to test your knowledge.

When is the first photograph believed to have been taken?

  • 1873
  • 1915
  • 1826

What kind of crystals are involved in the chemistry of taking a traditional black-and-white photograph?

  • tourmaline
  • silver halide
  • fluorite

What does a stop bath do?

  • The stop bath cleans the image.
  • The stop bath stops the development process.
  • The stop bath stops the film from degrading over time.

What does a fixer do?

  • A fixer erases all of the spots left behind during development.
  • A fixer creates a distinct contrast between lights and darks in the photograph.
  • A fixer dissolves the light-sensitive chemicals in the unexposed areas of the photograph.

Why is red light used in a film darkroom?

  • Red lights make the film develop quicker.
  • Red lights won't expose the film.
  • Red lights help to exaggerate the contrasting tones of the developing photograph.

How do you make a film appear "grainier" when doing black-and-white photography?

  • Use a slow film that isn't as sensitive to light.
  • Periodically expose the film during development.
  • Use a fast film that's more sensitive to light.

How many steps are involved in the wet-plate photographic process?

  • 4
  • 8
  • 12

What is the photographic purpose of the accordion-like bellows on cameras from the 1800s and even some of today's modern studio setups?

  • They level the camera's view.
  • They allow the photographer to zoom in on the subject.
  • They keep light out.

When was the first color photo film released?

  • 1907
  • 1925
  • 1918

What kinds of photographs are neutral-density filters most often used for?

  • portraits
  • landscapes
  • moving subjects

Considered to be the father of modern day photojournalism, what is the name of the French photographer who made candid photography famous?

  • Robert Doisneau
  • Arthur Batut
  • Henri Cartier-Bresson

Mathew Brady, a famous black-and-white photographer, became famous for taking pictures that documented which war?

  • American Civil War
  • Vietnam War
  • World War I

Should a novice photographer use a viewfinder camera or a single-lens reflex (SLR) camera?

  • an SLR camera providing several autofocus options
  • a viewfinder camera requiring require little to no maintenance
  • Neither are best for a novice -- start with pinhole cameras.

When considering the sharpness of the images they create and the portability of the cameras that use them, what's the best film format to use?

  • large-format film
  • 35 mm film
  • medium-format film

What is a pinhole camera?

  • a camera created from a light-proofed box with a small hole in one side
  • a camera that produces tiny images
  • a camera created by using several small lenses

Should digital black-and-white photos be printed on a color printer?

  • No; other colors in the printer often tint the printed photo.
  • No; only professional printers provide great results.
  • Yes; excellent tonal range can be achieved with color printers.

Why are subjects in early photos rarely smiling?

  • It was not socially acceptable to smile in photographs.
  • Due to the lengthy exposure, the photograph would likely be ruined if they smiled.
  • No one smiled when they sat for painted portraits, and the practice was carried over to photographs.

What is the difference between dodging and burning?

  • Dodging lightens tones; burning darkens tones.
  • Dodging sharpens the photograph's image; burning blurs the photograph's image.
  • Dodging makes several areas of the photograph appear grainy; burning only affects the edges of the photograph.

What's the difference between infrared film and black-and-white film?

  • black-and-white film is sensitive to a larger spectrum of light
  • infrared film is sensitive to a smaller spectrum of light
  • infrared film is sensitive to a larger spectrum of light

How many more emulsion layers does color film have than black-and-white film?

  • at least two
  • exactly four
  • just one