In the recent "Less is only more when more is no good" thread, color was brought up toward the very end. I hope Wes Stone doesn't mind my quoting a statement he made followed by my own thoughts which seemed better placed as a start to a new thread. Here's part of what Wes contributed: "For my own tastes I want to eliminate. I want to excise all of the elements that do not contribute to 'the story', many times including such 'distractions' as color." --WesI'm aware that Wes put "distractions" in quotes which leaves a lot of room for interpreting his meaning. What I quote below (with a couple of minor changes for this new thread) is more about what Wes's statement stimulated in me than about being a directed response to Wes: "I have a particular sensitivity and am rarely pleased with the way color is talked about and would like to talk about it a lot more, because it would help me in my own approach to continue to fine tune my thoughts and feelings about it. I prefer not to begin from a place of seeing it as an addition or a distraction. It's as if color, for some reason, has to prove itself in order to be acceptable in a photograph. What's different about color and shades of gray? Do we start out seeing all gray-tones as perhaps unnecessary, assuming that a graphic black and graphic white are the really pure elements, the non-distractions? And, in what way does color actually differ from focus, light, and composition. Why is it not a basic, the removal of which is actually the radical act? Of course, my initial thought is that it's got nothing to do with color itself and a lot to do with the technology of photography. We started out, historically, not being able to process in color. It seems to me that goes a long way in defining our relationship to it. We got used to black and white being the starting point. I think that's dictated a lot. Perhaps because I got into photography late in its short history and did not work in a darkroom where black and white was more accessible to most people who processed their own film, I am less prone to see color as an add-on or distraction. I tend to see in color and to consider color as a fundamental, a baseline, which I may strip out if I feel the need or desire, not something I hesitate to include with the assumption that it is prone to be "more" or even "too much." Even when I know a photo I'm taking will be converted to black and white, color plays a significant role in my seeing because the absorption and reflection of light and the black and white conversion are so dependent on the color that is there. I am no more prone to saying that black and white is less distracting than color (or "less" than color) than I am to saying that a sharp focus is inherently less distracting than a soft or blurry one or that a dark and shadowy content is inherently less distracting than one with sunlight." --Fred GoldsmithDoes color generically give you a different overall feeling than black and white? Can you describe that difference? What's your perspective on color in terms of how you see it in photographs and also in terms of how and when you use it in your photographs? What else could be said about color in the context of photography?