It’s a personal thing

A noted photographer once said that a good color image is a a good black and white image. I agree. But this needs some decision-making. The picture below has all the necessary elements for a good black and white image – the patterns and lines of the tree’s bare branches is enough to carry the picture. I could have easily converted it to monochrome. I did not. Why?


The colored backdrop of a late afternoon sky, that’s why. In black and white, the picture above would not be missing anything, except of course color. The subject itself which is the tree is already colorless, and it’s just a matter of converting the sky into shades of gray. Here’s where it becomes a personal thing. A picture will always be a matter of how the photographer sees it, defines it and presents it. He could color the tree yellow, green or blue, and that’s his art and imagination, though that doesn’t count as factual photography. I opted for what’s real and presented it the way I saw and captured it that late afternoon – a bare colorless tree reaching out into patches of orange sky. I decided on that realism. Photography is not only the art of seeing but also the process of thinking how an image is best presented. That relies on a photographer’s judgment. It’s a personal thing. A photographer knowledgeable and trained in the art will always know what’s best, both for himself and for his viewers.


7 responses

  1. What great patterns and photography! Thanks for sharing.

    March 12, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    • Junsjazz

      Thank you! 🙂

      March 13, 2013 at 2:50 am

  2. jstimages

    Great thinking on why it always isn’t a matter of any image can be shown just as nicely in black and white if it is a good image. I think that your idea of the element of personal choice made by the photographer is a good point. I think that part of the art of seeing includes these decisions on what is the right way to show the work. Seeing for us as photographers includes not only what we point the camera at but how we envision others seeing that image. In my opinion you are right that the realism of the colors is what is the perfect way to display this image. You capture the starkness and the feeling of the late afternoon cloudy coldness perfectly. Thanks for sharing these thoughts with us.

    March 12, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    • Junsjazz

      Right you are! it’s a matter of personal choice…thanks!

      March 13, 2013 at 2:50 am

  3. Good choice to left it like this.

    March 12, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    • Junsjazz

      Thanks always Anisjarossi!

      March 13, 2013 at 2:51 am

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