Is life always better in colour? Decisions decisions...
January 15, 2014
How do you decide when to choose black and white over colour?
I often get stuck at this particular issue. Some photos just jump out at you as being better in black and white – you’re instincts tell you immediately that the shadows and highlights would just ‘work’ in that format.
However with other images I find that I’m umming and aaahing for far longer than I should be. So… in order to kill some time while at the office (hope the boss isn’t reading this) I decided to do some research and put a couple of tips together for anyone else in the same indecisive place as me.
Key questions to ask yourself:
Will colour enhance or diminish the photo?
Colours can sometimes distract the eye and camouflage the exact element you’re trying to expose. Black and white can often define a subject’s form and emphasise all the details you miss in colour.
What’s the weather doing?
If you’re a landscape photographer and the weather just isn’t playing ball, then black and white might be a good way to save a wasted session. If it’s a dull grey day then don’t go back to bed, get out there and try a black and white shoot instead! The soft, dull light can work wonderfully well with black and white and create dramatic images that you wouldn’t get in colour.
Will it lend character to your image?
Using black and white can bring a fantasy element to your image – it immediately changes the view of the world and brings out textures and patterns that you wouldn’t otherwise see.
So these are just a few starting tips – I’ll add more as and when I discover them! Feel free to share your thoughts and tips!