Black and white street or colour?!

A very common point of contention or question always asked in photography is  "do you shoot colour or black & white" or "is black and white better than colour"


I shall from the outset give an opinion that you may choose to agree or disagree , as art is subjective.


The basic premise for me is simple.

- Does the colour in the image add to the narrative?


If the answer is yes , only then do I retain colour , edit and play around with it.


Conversely, if there is insufficient colour and/or it does not aid the narrative, its is then  a valid reason to consider monochrome.


As a rule of thumb I really don't have a preference .

I genuinely enjoy black and white photography as much as I do colour.

For me it's about intent.

Yes there are some photographers who will only shoot in colour as there  are those who will only shoot black and white, this is an age old question which has been debated  for decades.


First and foremost we must shoot images for ourselves and only we can determine what works for us.


There are of course general practices such as silhouettes and certain shots which are timesless work that look  better in black and white.


Having said that photography literally means drawing with light and in this respect shadow and light play can achieve a classic look somewhat easier than colour.


The idea is to play and have fun. With digital,  the possibilities are endless.

Don't just stick to one style over another .

Try different styles and even genres to see what sits well with you .

Experimentation is part of the journey of getting to know onself too.


We see the world around us in colour daily  and  if we were  represent reality in our work (as much as an image can be true) , then colour would surely take precedence over black and white.


Then again it is said we dream only in black and white.


I have pondered for some time now and come to the conclusion that if black and white was truly important in Art, why then  are there not more films made in monochrome and why  did the great painters not paint in monochrome.


This finally brings me to a quote by

Saul Leiter, who I consider  one of the top 5 most influential photographers  in history. And yes,  he  was a master of BOTH colour and black and white.


"I have been told that some of my photographs maybe indicate that I am a painter."

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