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Thread: Color to Black and White...The Reason

  1. #1
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    Default Color to Black and White...The Reason

    My question is what constitutes a black and white photo? When do you decide to change a color photo to black and white or should you keep a 'colorful' picture the way it is just because it's colorful and turn your subjective and narrative photos black and white?

    By the way, 'color is american while 'colour' is british.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Color to Black and White...The Reason

    Quote Originally Posted by diciannove View Post
    My question is what constitutes a black and white photo? When do you decide to change a color photo to black and white or should you keep a 'colorful' picture the way it is just because it's colorful and turn your subjective and narrative photos black and white?

    By the way, 'color is american while 'colour' is british.
    lighting and contrasting colors actually and how much time you have to edit color photos in my opinion.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Color to Black and White...The Reason

    Sometimes, you wish to see the tonal difference only...

    Or when sometimes colour may just confuse the viewer... a direct white and black may bring out the image across better.
    Michael Lim
    My Flickr Site

  4. #4

    Default Re: Color to Black and White...The Reason

    When you decide your image is too "noisy"

    And when perhaps, you decide that luminance is a huge factor in the photo, and you see a great deal of light gradient happening interestingly in the photo, maybe.

    Some scenes really bland in color, but perform well in BnW.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Color to Black and White...The Reason

    B&W is the faithful old method to conver a complicated message with a simple tonal changes. Sometimes a scenes have alot of colours which doesn't tell ur story. Your story may be simply a subject in the middle of the crowd. But the crowd is full of colours and drag away the focus instead. For example, your subject is a man standing in the middle of the crowd,but one corner is a women wearing is bright red. Well we all know red is a outstanding colour, but clearly she is not the subject, then colours is not helpful in bring out the subject. What you can do is make sepia, B+W or duotone etc....
    drag the focus back using tonal value only to the center of the pic where your subject is.

    There are times u also wanna just tell a simple action. The action is loud and clear, then colours is not useful here. Actions can be easily told using a B+W pic.

    Contrast, black and white is the best contrast u can find. increase the contrast of the pic, you will cut down on the gray tones, then your blacn and white are outstanding to bring out the features of your subject.

    That's my interpretation of B+W
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  6. #6
    Senior Member giantcanopy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Color to Black and White...The Reason

    Sometimes colors may be too random or distracting to bring the point across, and black and white can seem more timeless, and even more dramatic, and puts the focus straight on the story of the shot

    I find good color shots more difficult to do and control because perhaps there are more hues to coordinate and compose. Thats my personal take, and this is especially true of street shooting.

    Unfortunately lots of people are so cliched in making things into BnW that if the original intent of taking it in color failed ( be it composition / poor color / poor techniques ) off it becomes a BnW ..

    Ryan

  7. #7
    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Color to Black and White...The Reason

    There are no exact rules to govern when B&W is appropriate given that the decision is highly subjective. You are free to experiment. Some examples showing B&W can work.....

    To accentuate lines and geometries...


    to emphasize age...


    works where there are a variety of shades and tones, a B&W will render the image stronger...


    to minic a scene..... think Hitchcock...


    mentioned before, colours can be distracting at times when you need to focus on a particular object in the image..... so try B&W...

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