To Colour or not to Colour

Essay time is fast approaching and I have a choice of things to consider, but I’ve plumped for how photographer’s use colour. I thought it would be nice to reference some of the great photographers that present their work on the blogosphere.

If you feel like you can spare a couple of minutes it would be great to get opinions on why you choose colour or black and white for a particular image, or your particular style? What kind of colour do you like in your images – saturated, desaturated or natural?

If you feel you can contribute, just leave a comment below, if not, no worries. For those who comment and that I can use in my essay, I’ll reference your blogs in the bibliography.

4 thoughts on “To Colour or not to Colour

  1. Ahh, the eternal question! Colour, black and white or somewhere in between?

    I don’t know about other photographers out there, but I never intentionally set out to take monochrome images (unless Richard at has set a collaboration with that restriction). I shoot in normal ways, photographing basically whatever catches my eye, and it’s only when I get home and upload the images that I look to see if a shot should be with or without colour.

    To be honest, it’s usually the image that shouts out b/w to me. For example, I find that candid portraits have more of an impact when they’re monochrome – colour shots are good, but they often detract from the individual.

    Where something I have photographed has an intense colour in it, the final image often looks good if I overemphasize it (usually a 15pt Gaussian Blur overlayed onto the original shot).

    Selective colour is a love/hate thing – if it’s done well, I really like it, but I know some selective colour images photos I have blogged have had more of an adverse reaction than I had anticipated!

    I’ve written WAY too much here, and there’s loads more I could add! Hope this helps, though?

  2. Interesting question! I tend to shoot in colour RAW, but have the camera set to show the image in B&W so I can check composition. As with Richard, I let the image dictate whether it should be colour or not, but broadly speaking B&W makes for bolder images where I want to focus on one aspect and lose distractions. Colour is great when it works and occasionally I like to construct a composition around instances of colour in the image rather than geometry. I like my colour quite muted and prefer a restricted palette (one step away from naturalistic).

  3. Thanks for the insights guys. I’m pretty much the same in that I take it image by image. what I’ve found really interesting is comparing Ansel Adams’ colour images with his monochrome ones. An amazing difference between the feel of the two sets of pictures. Thanks again for your comments.

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