If you’ve always wondered about the differences between color and black & white photography, then this article is for you. By the end you’ll have a better understanding of the two formats and will informed to make the right decision as a photographer.
There’s been a vast improvement in the quality of color pictures, however sometimes photographers chose to use black and white shots. This may be because of the style or the design of the picture. The choice of black and white shots removes any distractions such as dominant shades that are not part of the image’s subject.
With the subtraction of color other objects in the picture may have increased importance, so this is why photographers tend to do it. Red objects in a photograph are very dominant as the eye is automatically attracted to them. By removing this it can simplify the image, shapes and lines may become more obvious and lead people to focus on other things.
Black and white pictures sometimes feel like they have a timeless quality, unlike when painting a picture. Instead, the photographer has less control over the color, brightness and tone of a subject they are taking a picture of. For artistic reasons one may prefer to eliminate this problem by making it colorless.
In many newspapers there is a mixture of colour images and those in monochrome. This can sometimes be due to the expense for which these images cost. A black and white news story picture can still portray the message it is sending, while additionally saving the publication money when it comes to printing. However, advertising differs slightly by using color to draw attention to the sale of products.
For reasons above, photographers may opt to shoot in raw (black and white) on their camera. However, others may prefer to shoot in color to convert their shots to black and white.
The debate between black and white and color is ongoing and down to personal preference. It seems it entirely depends on the nature of the picture and the photographer.
So there you have it, everything you’ve always wanted to know about the differences between color and black & white photography.
Chris Canham is a commercial Canberra Photographer with more than 10 years experience in advertising, real estate, political, corporate and event photography in Canberra.