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DPChallenge Forums >> Individual Photograph Discussion >> color or b&w
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03/04/2007 11:02:07 AM · #1
I am a black and white fantic and I'm a bit...unsure of this one! which do you prefer color or black and white, and why?

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03/04/2007 11:20:49 AM · #2
color. In my opinion Black and White should be used when the color doesn't look right, but i think the color one looks great. I don't know if that helped you any...
03/04/2007 11:23:49 AM · #3
Difficult question.
I prefer the b&w for its contrast, but I like the color version for the red hair which you obviously don't see in b&w. :)
Interesting girl, I like her face. Intersting to shoot with in a studio I think.

Basically it needs work on lighting, not a choice between b&w or color. The tone of the photo is too flat.

03/04/2007 11:37:15 AM · #4
Originally posted by cassilda_terry:

color. In my opinion Black and White should be used when the color doesn't look right, but i think the color one looks great. I don't know if that helped you any...


oh wow really? I generally like black and white better even if the color is perfect! for me it's not a fixer, I just prefer the kind of calmness it has :)

Arzifel I agree, lighting isn't perfect but there's something about this particular photo I like, the look or feel it has or something. I don't think more contrast improves it, tried that and it gets a bit to harsh for my taste in b&w. I was also thinking about just toning the colors down a bit on the colored version and adding a bit more contrast but don't know...
03/04/2007 12:13:56 PM · #5
I took a stab - great facial expression! Since I thought that was the best part of the photo, that's where I concentrated my efforts:

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03/04/2007 12:29:01 PM · #6
Originally posted by cassilda_terry:

color. In my opinion Black and White should be used when the color doesn't look right, but i think the color one looks great. I don't know if that helped you any...

Not to be disrespectful, but I could not disagree with this philosophy more.

Photography is about lighting and tonality more than anything else. Images with great lighting and tonality lend themselves to B&W over other images. Also, some subjects lend themselves better to B&W treatment better than others do.

Color is used when the subject, like a tropical landscape, lends itself better for color treatment or that one or more colors in the composition support the main theme better than B&W.

The choice of B&W over color rests with the photographer based on their intent. B&W is simple and straightforward, color can be complex. If lighting and tones are the strength of the composition then B&W might be a good choice.

It can be a hard choice sometimes, as it is in the original image posted above.
03/04/2007 12:37:50 PM · #7
I prefer the b/w one ... but also like L2's color version ...
03/04/2007 12:40:27 PM · #8
Originally posted by stdavidson:

Originally posted by cassilda_terry:

color. In my opinion Black and White should be used when the color doesn't look right, but i think the color one looks great. I don't know if that helped you any...

Not to be disrespectful, but I could not disagree with this philosophy more.

Photography is about lighting and tonality more than anything else. Images with great lighting and tonality lend themselves to B&W over other images. Also, some subjects lend themselves better to B&W treatment better than others do.

Color is used when the subject, like a tropical landscape, lends itself better for color treatment or that one or more colors in the composition support the main theme better than B&W.

The choice of B&W over color rests with the photographer based on their intent. B&W is simple and straightforward, color can be complex. If lighting and tones are the strength of the composition then B&W might be a good choice.

It can be a hard choice sometimes, as it is in the original image posted above.


Totally agree. I've done more shooting in b/w lately - partly because it's winter and b/w often has a cold look, and partly because it's such a neat and different way of looking at a world which we tend to only know in color.
03/04/2007 01:05:31 PM · #9
Originally posted by cassilda_terry:

color. In my opinion Black and White should be used when the color doesn't look right, but i think the color one looks great. I don't know if that helped you any...

With all due respect, B&W is NOT a tool to correct mistakes with color photos.
03/04/2007 01:25:59 PM · #10
Originally posted by lesgainous:

With all due respect, B&W is NOT a tool to correct mistakes with color photos.


It's not meant to be, but it absolutely can be a way to save a photo. My Morning entry was that very sort of rescue, and it turned out brilliantly. Picture of the Moment at Lucky Oliver and Picture of the Day at Kodak - all from a bad color rescue.
03/04/2007 02:25:33 PM · #11
Originally posted by Rebecca:

Originally posted by lesgainous:

With all due respect, B&W is NOT a tool to correct mistakes with color photos.


It's not meant to be, but it absolutely can be a way to save a photo. My Morning entry was that very sort of rescue, and it turned out brilliantly. Picture of the Moment at Lucky Oliver and Picture of the Day at Kodak - all from a bad color rescue.

Again, with all due respect to you, if you have to 'rescue' an image either with B&W processing or any other sort of post processing then the battle for exceptional photography is already lost.

A great image starts out as a great photograph out of the camera. All that post processing achieves is to make it better. The recent minimal editing challenge is a tribute to that.
03/04/2007 02:35:18 PM · #12
Originally posted by stdavidson:

Again, with all due respect to you, if you have to 'rescue' an image either with B&W processing or any other sort of post processing then the battle for exceptional photography is already lost.

A great image starts out as a great photograph out of the camera. All that post processing achieves is to make it better. The recent minimal editing challenge is a tribute to that.

I think it's possible to "discover" a "great" image within an apparently useless original -- I don't think it matters which tools are used to achieve the final result.

I'm reminded of Michelangelo's description of sculpting, to the effect of "I saw the statue in the stone and chipped away what wasn't necessary."
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