Nov 182007

As someone who has a preference for making black and white images, but frequently gets asked ‘what does that look like in colour’, and likes colour images, I sometimes wonder about the differences between B&W and colour. In addition I also recently saw an episode of the BBC’s “Genius Of Photography” where it was commented that in the 1970s, colour photography was not taken seriously in the art photography world.

Personally I think it is up to the photographer to decide what kind of image to make … B&W or colour. It is their choice of how to make the image to draw attention to those aspects of the image the photographer wants to draw attention to.

B&W images are supposedly more artistic and colour images are supposedly more realistic. The first is ridiculous … does anyone criticise painters for their ‘unartistic’ use of colour ? And the second is almost as silly … sure the real world is in colour, but it is not frozen in time.

B&W images do tend to make it easier for me to see the geometry and patterns in an image, and give a different slant to the light in the image. But images in colour let you see the colour which is just as important; or more so in some images.

Both are equally valid.