Black & White VS Colour

After having an adventure down in Dorset and Devon this gave me the chance to take a couple more photographs to add into my landscape portfolio. I stopped by Durdle Door and although I arrived at the wrong time of day as the light was all wrong I was still able to get some photographs of the cliffs. When I stopped to look back at the photos I edited them as a colour and in black and white. I felt that the black and white photographs gave more of a mood to the photograph adding depth, but then when receiving feedback it seemed like others preferred the colour. These are the two photographs iI selected and edited in various ways.

IMG_1766BWCIMG_1766  IMG_1779BWIMG_1779

These were the two versions that I looked at. With the photographs I already have from Australia and New Zealand I specifically left them as colour images to bring out the deep blue skies and the reds in the earth, this seemed more relevant for that serious. But I feel it could add to my portfolio by including a black and white series looking more at the tonal values and how they contrast each other. However, this could make my portfolio not show the consistency it needs to make it a strong piece. Perhaps by using the colour photographs in my main portfolio and adding in black and white versions into a gallery as part of an iPad or website portfolio. On my Website I could consider by having the one photo in colour but making it more interactive with the audience so when they move over the image with the cursor it allows it to appear in black and white as well.

I started looking into how other people convey the argument between colour and black and white photography, one of the articles I found deliberately talks about Henri Cartier-Bresson and how his work has been shot in black and white, this is mainly due to the era he worked in and that was easier and most cost efficient. However, he did create colour photographs as well but never made these publicly available. He did hold one exhibition though where these were able to be seen, they talk about how the use of colour overpowers the content of the photograph and this becomes more eye catching to what the photograph is supposed to display. Without the use of colour you see the subject and the context of the photograph more easily than you would in a colour photograph. When times changed and the colour TV was invented colour imagery became more dominant and black and white was moved aside and more or less forgotten about only with a few photographs who previously worked in this way like Cartier-Bresson.

Black and white allows a photograph to become more versatile, this can be used in all kinds of genres such as urban, street, fashion and landscape and they allow the imagery to appear more moody. Whereas colour can be a great and show great results usually on a sunny day. There are various ways to show black and white by editing them as high contrast pieces with the darks and the whites, however they can also be seen as gentle with less contrast and more of a flat tonal range.

At the end of the day the opinion is down to the individual some people prefer to see some black and white images and other prefer to stick with colour, this often can depend on the age of the individual, for example I know my mum likes to see black and white photographs as it reminds her of times in her past and photographs she may have seen and how they are no longer as popular in contemporary photography.


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