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A Question of Black and White.

KenTaylor 16 3.1k 2 United Kingdom
7 Mar 2005 9:56AM
Yes it makes sense Steve. I often feel in between two worlds and this site has a superb mix of everything. The late Raymomd Moore who titled his book "Every so Often" is very true although it meant visual oddities in the everyday landscape concerning form and light.
I very much doubt if anyone would watch a B&W TV and often groan if an old B&W film is shown. I am at an age now along with my experience where B&W has become specialised and that often surpises me. For super photography and lighting `Night Mail` by the GPO takes some beating. The response by others has given it credit "even though it was black and white" hence the continuous struggle and debate about photography and art.
c_evans99 17 7.0k 1 Wales
7 Mar 2005 10:18AM
I work pretty much most of the time in B&W but don't post much of it here anymore to be honest; I find that if it doesn't have a 'moody' or antique atmosphere, or so much contrast it's soot and whitewash it doesn't get attention (or much in the way of comments... but then B&W has a critical language of its own).

keith selmes 17 7.4k 1 United Kingdom
7 Mar 2005 10:20AM
Black and white films are fine with me. I don't think many would be improved by colour.

It would be like showing Das Boot with english soundtrack.

There are so many things in a film that are more important than colour.
Just Jas Plus
19 26.3k 1 England
7 Mar 2005 10:22AM
I prefer black and white - although I have had a go at this new fangled colour stuff. Smile

sugarbird 16 223 South Africa
7 Mar 2005 10:32AM
My first love is black and white and now everyone prefers my colour shots, but still do loads of black and white especially my more serious stuff and nudes, to me it is timeless but I do love National Geographic images and it is predominately colour, I suppose I like both now..
riprap007 16 1.6k 37 England
7 Mar 2005 10:45AM
My favourite photographers are primarily known for their B&W works, I myself post images I like and those which the audience may like too. Unless I am working to a brief, then all of the images I take are for me though and not an audience. B&W work on this site, as has been mentioned in other forum discussions, is generally not so well received on here, which has an influence, though not overriding, of what I post. It is a bit pointless IMO to post images for which there is no audience - (though I have neared that precipice with some of my images) and it is not always that I can second guess what will be popular on here, commercially or in a gallery - (might be rich otherwise LOL)
There is an issue of 'education', as I remember Pete saying previously as regards B&W, though flogging dead horses springs to mind. I blame newspapers transition to colour - when they printed primarily in B&W the level of appreciation was wider IMO.
A_Harrison 16 261 Canada
8 Mar 2005 8:02PM
when I come on site the first thing I do is set the reader gallery to show all pictures for the last 24hrs only.I'm on every day.After that I set the gallery to black and white.I spend more time looking at those then any of the pictures for the previous 24hrs.

Also I find I like making my images black and white as of late.color seems to distract from the over all construction of the picture lately.If that makes any sense.

the long and short of it,I like B\W and color but I spend more time on the B\W.

A_Harrison 16 261 Canada
8 Mar 2005 8:05PM
.....I don't mind if the BW's don't get much attention as long as it is thought out and or informative.

gajj 17 32
8 Mar 2005 8:16PM
I personally think B&W is THE most interesting photography off this site. However, online, I check out whatever catches my eye, usually a big variety of different things.
heidilee 17 901
8 Mar 2005 10:36PM
I love B&W. I learnt in B&W only at school so I think that will have something to do with it.

I do colour too, but my favourites are my b&w shots. Its much more classical (to me) whereas I see some colour photos as snapshots. It's almost like b&w is art and colour is the family christmas photos. Whilst I know this not to be true (there are plenty of beautiful colour 'artistic' photos to prove otherwise) but still thats the first thing that comes to mind.

Colour records something as it is. B&W records something as it is also but (to me) in a way that alludes to it being special or different.

If that makes any sense at all, I've had no chocolate today so you will all have to excuse my yabbering! Ü

steve neil 16 597 Australia
8 Mar 2005 11:10PM
I don't go out of my way looking for b/w images but I respect those who know when an image is best in b/w. I think there is a skill to this that not everybody appreciates. However, I love colour, own a colour TV, my computer is set to a zillion pixels of colour and so on Smile Just a thought but do b/w people appreciate colour which is after all far more complex to work with!
strawman 17 22.2k 16 United Kingdom
9 Mar 2005 12:35AM
Luke I would say it is primarily not whether it is B/W that sets attention, rather how dramatic the thumbnail is. So simple B/W photo's with a single high contrast subject get interest as do highly colurful shots. Then there is the obvious category of naked women.

So I think the thumbnail system dissadvantages some types of photo's
ljesmith 16 1.1k United Kingdom
9 Mar 2005 12:50AM
Good point John, I had considered the detrimental impact of thumbnails befor, but see no way around it, in answere to your question Steve, I personally find it much more difficult to take colour pictures because over the years I've always worked in black and white, this sometimes seems to make me almost blind to colours which other people see easily. I admire good colour photographers just as equally, it is a different skill altogether.
joolsb 16 27.1k 38 Switzerland
9 Mar 2005 1:40AM
Interesting thread, this.

I tend to go for interesting shots, be they B+W, toned, solarized, pelted with peanuts or whatever. If the treatment is well-executed and sympathetic to the subject then it gets a click and a comment.

The stuff I'm beginning to loathe are the 'selectively-coloured' B+W shots where somebody has maybe picked out an inconsequential detail for star-treatment. So easy to do in PS yet so hard to pull off convincingly....

For my own shots, I shoot colour reversal film exclusively and desaturate only if the image works better with that treatment. I do find, however, that my b+w stuff seems to attract comments from people with portfolios I admire (be they pros or ams who are on a higher level than me...) whereas my colour stuff gets a lot of rather bland 'nice colours!' type remarks.

But it all comes down to whatever floats your boat photographically, in the end....

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