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Color or B&W?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by jklofft, Sep 12, 2005.

  1. Putting aside your general preference for either B&W or color photos (if that’s possible :smile:) , which do you prefer in the images below, color or B&W? Thanks.

    Photo 1
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    Photo 2
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    Photo 3
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  2. Colour - find people/animals pics most interesting in colour. Prefer some cityscapes/architectural, portraits, etc in B&W. Just my $0.02 worth.
  3. Iliah


    Jan 29, 2005
    on #1 - b/w
    on #2 - colour
    on #3 - colour
    for me it is not the conversion, but composition and tonal distribution on the original, non-touched photo
  4. I believe that not all images make good B&W conversions. I prefer to see high contrast and texture in B&W and I don't think any of these images gain anything in B&W.

  5. I'm not sure I know what you mean.
  6. dbirdsong

    dbirdsong Guest

    #1 B&W
    #2 May I suggest sepia? other wise B&W
    #3 color
  7. I'm with Dave on this one.
    #1 B&W
    #2 B&W with Sepia or Brown Tone
    #3 Color
  8. Color for me. Image #2 comes closest to swaying me to B&W.
  9. Commodorefirst

    Commodorefirst Admin/Moderator Administrator

    May 1, 2005
    Well, I will be a bit different than most,

    #1 color, because in BW the background blends in to much with the subjects. The green acts as a canvas for the subjects.

    #2, BW because of the subject matter and seeming to be an older type of vehicle or style which suggests age, which to me suggests BW, however, if used for advertising go with color so you can see the red and blue on the trailer. Of course the $$ amount doesn't lend to age.

    #3, doesn't matter to me, because the back half of the cow/calf is distracting for me. Anyway, just my thoughts.
  10. jfrancis


    May 8, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    I agree. Once you lose the color, you only have form and texture to hold interest. These images are better in color.
  11. Thanks to all

    I've been playing with various images in B&W and was on the fence as to whether these worked or not. On balance I too would say no. Thanks for viewing and replying.
  12. I'm just an amateur and never had any real film experience, but I think I'll disagree w/ that. When you lose color, you often also lose a lot of distracting elements from the image, which helps enhance the main message/point/intent of the photo. An image doesn't have to be about technical or art design qualities (per se) for it to stand or fall afterall. For instance, B&W often helps bring out the emotions and other finer nuiances better in people photography. Sometimes, you "add" by subtraction -- and I'm sure most of us can understand that when we look at it from the perspective of composition (and consider tools/techniques like cropping, cloning, even dodge-and-burn in some respects, etc.).

    IMHO, #1 illustrates the point of "adding" by subtraction perfectly. In color, the eye-popping green in the background is grabbing way too much of our attention. In B&W, it rightly fades back into the "background" so to speak and lets the main subjects/subject matter be the main point of interest (as I imagine was the original intent of the shot). Also, given the kinds of colors seen in the subjects, I personally find B&W to be preferable.

    #2 is a bit of a wash. I think I'd prefer B&W somewhat if done "right", but am not too crazy about the conversion done. It lacks contrast and range and seems a bit too subdued/flat w/out that being an intended element as far as I can tell anyway. Given the conversion, I guess I would rather stick w/ color there, but I would definitely want to give another try at a better B&W conversion. Some others suggested toning, but I'm not sure that's needed here as toning probably doesn't add anything to the meaning or feel of the image that would work well for this given image (but maybe that's just me). I often do warm up my B&W images a bit or apply some basic toning, but here, I don't see toning being of much help -- maybe a slight bit of warming up might be enough.

    #3 works better in color for me.

    Kind regards,

  13. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    #1 - color
    #2 - b&w
    #3 - color

    #2 b&w because you know what color the apples and blueberries are supposed to be, so you don't need to see them. 1 and 3 in color because they don't have a strong graphic shape thing going on like #2 and because I like the color of cows.
  14. I don't think the background competes for your attention because of the color, I beleive it does so because of it's focus and consequent detail, and that's a DOF issue not a color issue.

    But, that's just my opinion.

  15. I see your point, but its a tough call. Given the distance and focal length (55) there wasn't going to be significant background blurring and doing so would have made either the gentleman on the oxen out of focus (always compromises). Also I don't think my quickie PP on the color versions helped as much. Here is the final version
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  16. I'm interested in your points on #2. There isn't a lot of tonal range in the center of the photo and I was trying to preserve the shadow detail in the trail and trees behind it without losing the whites. What do you suggest? Thanks.
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