Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Color or B&W?

One of the frequently thrown questions to me when people saw my photography work is "why black and white?". I usually do not have a straight and consistent answer. I guess it all comes down to personal preference and reasons for choosing to remove colors from a photograph. I do think some photograph appear a lot more compelling and expressive when the colors are absent.

For example, the following photograph.




I personally lean towards the B&W version. I do not know how or what to tell you how I justify my preferences, but to my eyes, the B&W works much stronger to convey certain feel and emotion of the human child portrait. Just my thoughts. What do you guys think?

Oh and that M.Zuiko 45mm F1.8 is just amazing. Enough said. 

18 comments :

  1. Monochrome brings out the soul, no doubt about it.

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  2. B&W for this shot - no doubt. The best thing I ever did for my OMD-EM5 was buy a beautiful 45mm f1.8 and put 'em together! That lens makes me fall in love with portraiture all over again.

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  3. The kid's eyes bring out the soul in both these pics. Each version is evocative.

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  4. I agree that the mood in this picture is centred in the expression of those gorgeous eyes - and I find the colour distracts a bit. .

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  5. I prefer the B&W shot. More expressive IMHO.

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  6. I prefer color. The reds are strong and essential in this photo.

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  7. Colour dilutes the focus of the photo, whereas B&W brings focus to the main expression of the subject.
    I guess it depends on situation, composition, subject and background. And of course the message you want to relay.
    Both the photos work for me. Each tells a different story, amazingly from the same picture.

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  8. I prefer color 99 times out of 100. In this particular photo I think the gold and red spots on the forehead are interesting elements. And I like the skin tone as well.

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  9. The dark skin and the other colours of the photo make it a great shot...

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  10. Robin,
    To each his own. Your photos are superb; be it BW or color.
    SiewKS

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  12. Both color and B/W can work well. In this case, the B/W adds "drama" or "character", (as it often does; in this case it works very well also because of the eyes of the child. Color sometimes distracts.

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  13. My sentiments align with yours. I think that for me it is that, when a image calls for rendition in color, it is the color that is the "thing." Whereas, b&w/monochrome (again, for me) it is the subject itself and mood or recognition of otherwise unnoticed patters/compositions that is the "thing"

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  14. In this example I really like the color version, but otherwise colors can get pretty quickly distracting and b&w is also more timeless.

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  15. Hi Robin!

    The power of this photograph has nothing to do with the color, or lack of color, or forms that are stronger in b&w than color, or tonal gradations that are smoother in b&w than color, so it's just a matter of personal preference. I prefer the color version, but I like both.

    If you look at Arnold Newman's work, most of his portraits would not have "worked" as well in color. He used B&W to create shapes that would not have been as strong in color.

    Regards,
    Steve

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  16. Hi Robin, I prefer the color version as well and agrees to what seadrive said above. Anyways, both pictures are awesome!

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  17. Wow!!! really nice, amazing work . Here is one of my work, if you want you can see it.

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