Go for Grain in Black & White

With the invention of digital cameras, we work hard to keep noise to a minimum in our photos. But black and white film photographers often chose and developed film to increase the appearance of film grain for a gritty look. 

If you set the camera's picture style or control to monochrome and use an extremely high ISO setting, you can simulate the appearance of film grain in a digital image. Turning on ISO Expansion and turning off High ISO Noise Reduction creates the most pronounced effect. A camera with a smaller sensor, such as point and shoot or cropped sensor models, makes the noise more noticeable.

ISO 12,800 in monochrome mode on a Canon 7D

Alternatively, you can add a grain effect using filters in Photoshop, Elements or Lightroom in post-production.

Stippled grain filter applied with Photoshop Elements
ISO 100  Monochrome Picture Style  Canon 7D

Learn these and other powerful editing techniques to create black and white images you'll be proud of in my Advanced Black & White Photography class. Sessions begin Tuesday, February 13, 2018, at the Lifelong Learning Center in Missoula, Montana. Registration is open either online, in person or by phone.