The issue of color vs. black and white

JJWP381As far as I’m concerned, there actually is no issue. I have said before that I’m a colorist, whether in my artworks or in my photography. I love colors that pop out, vivid and almost alive. Color photography is the realism we capture in the natural world – we see in color and our environment is in color. I read a quote somewhere which said that if colored film was the first to be invented, people won’t be taking pictures in black and white. But then it was the opposite that happened, hence we go back to capturing with the original medium of photography. I can go on expound the merits of color and black and white photography but that would take a whole page, and there are lots of online information on these subjects anyway. Let me just point out that using either medium is a personal choice. I see many photo bloggers who are quite at home doing exclusively black and white images. While I see others who are colorists like me yet from time to time post black and white photos. With today’s digital technology, it is very easy to switch from one medium to another, hence we can traverse both worlds. We can find enjoyment in the vibrancy and energy of colors, or we can take solace in the softness and simplicity of light, darkness and grays. All in the convenience of a mode setting in the digital camera, or a conversion feature in most image editing programs. The deeper issue I think is how well we convey the message or story of each image we capture whether it is in color or black and white. It all boils down again to composition or how we effectively arrange within the frame all those visual elements to make the resulting picture interesting, compelling and convincing. Regardless if it is in color or black and white, this quote from Julian Barnes is something we should ask ourselves when taking pictures: “Does it interest the eye, excite the brain, move the mind to reflection, and involve the heart?” Have a relaxing weekend bloggers!


2 responses

  1. Not sure that about the bw being dead were colour film invented first. The availability of paints of different colour did not kill sepia )

    February 2, 2013 at 9:47 am

    • Junsjazz

      I don’t think the photographer who was the source of the quote meant that if color film was introduced first there will be no black and white. Eventually there will be B&W but it will not take its place now as the classic, revered, original medium of photography which is having a resurgence. I think he meant that if color came first, there will be no B&W to go back to which we are doing now. But as you said and right you are, even with all the colors in the world they will not eliminate styles such as sepia, much more B&W. Thanks artmoscow!

      February 2, 2013 at 10:29 am

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