why is this image in color?

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by briangrossman, Dec 21, 2008.

  1. I can't recall who said "color photography is about color; black and white is about everything else," but since i've been concentrating on b&w film of late i've really taken these words to heart. now every time i see a color photograph i ask myself whether the color adds anything to the aesthetic value of the image and if not, why is this picture in color? i believe one consequence of the digital takeover is the complete shift in the default setting of the photographic paradigm from black and white to color, a shift which appears to have started in the 1970s with the advent of the instant lab for color negative film. nonetheless i fail to see why the above-quoted maxim is any less true today than it ever was. where the aesthetic value of an image is primarily or completely derived from a study of form, texture, geometry, etc., ought we not be asking of ourselves and of the photographer, why is this image in color?
     
  2. Color is more immediately accessible to a photographer or a viewer than are the subtlties of light, I think. Having lived in the b&w age, I recall what visual impact a true technicolor movie had. The b&w photos I like best seem to have natural light itself as the subject and not really the forms the light models, and the best color photos are the ones that manage to "harmonize" the colors like a good representational painting, the values conformed to the color wheel, with the pigments mixed to that end. If a photographer can get the two together in one photograph, that is really something worth viewing.
     
  3. Color photography isn't "just about color". The better statement would be that black and white photography is about the lack of color, allowing one to focus on aspects that might get missed otherwise.
    Don't get me wrong, I love black and white photography and will always love it. But the simple answer is "because our eyes see in color".
     
  4. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    ought we not be asking of ourselves and of the photographer, why is this image in color?​
    Why not ask, why is this image in black and white? It's false from the start that color images are only about color, there is absolutely nothing to back it up, not in anything you present or anyone else. It's another one of those "feel good about the old days" kinds of statements.
     
  5. I agree with Jeff here. I don't think color photos are "about" color any more than they are "about" anything else. I go with my gut on what I process in color and what goes to black and white but I don't necessarily make those decisions because of the color itself but because of what the color expresses and how it feels.
    "the aesthetic value of an image is primarily or completely derived from a study of form, texture, geometry, etc."
    That seems a clinical view of aesthetics, emphasizing the forensic aspects and leaving out the emotional and feeling aspects. Beauty is a place to be brought to, not just a series of visual categories. The aesthetic value of an image, for me, is derived from what it expresses and how it makes me feel.
    I think it's always hard to define the "basis" of a photograph from which other elements (like color) can be abstracted or added or subtracted. I see it more as a gestalt than as primary and secondary elements. I don't think of black and white photos as lacking color and I don't think of color photos as having something added to them. I am inclined to see each kind of photo as a sort of fullness in itself. That's not to say they don't serve different purposes and make me feel differently. And some of my photos seem destined for one or the other. But neither seems foundational.
     
  6. Colour has more "degrees of freedom" than black and white. The colour wheel of formative art courses has no relevance in black and white, except in terms of the tones of grey and the way we can make use of colour filters to manipulate those tones.
    Colour photos can be made to be abstract, but it isn't an intrinsic property of colour itself. Black and white IS abstract, and that is a very great part of its attraction. We are NEVER looking at a fully realistic interpretation of what our eyes see. The additional degrees of freeom of colour, in being able to use colour harmony and discord, are valuable but are not there, but in black and white the eye is particularly open to the beauty of light and shade, to variations in tone that is expessed simply by a range of greys (often silvery in appearance) rather than from a kaleidoscope of colours. White and black elements of the image assume major importance, whereas in a colour photograph they are often only secondary.
    We see in colour. So do great painters, but that doesn't prevent them from moulding reality to their aesthetic interests. To say black and white is dead, or of another era, is ridiculous. Many collectors of prints prefer it. For one, you can check out the prices of Michael Kenna's contemporary small prints.
    It is an art form and a photographic form and one that will never die. For those wishing to expess themselves in black and white, the traditional darkroom is still very accessible (as opposed to the now redundant colour darkroom) and a great and enjoyable craft experience. You can also easily (but not always as successfully) convert digital to monochrome, and print digitally like you would colour. Maybe some day we will see black and white digital cameras, making better use of all the pixels. In any case, black and white is unique and very different from colour imaging.
     
  7. I agree with Fred about the emotional or feeling aspects. Color can be a very powerful conveyor of them. I prefer b&w for candid photography because of that...because the color in the scene is out of my control -- it is not my choice to have, say, a lot of hot pink in a scene that is otherwise peaceful and serene simply because a house or a billboard is that color.
     
  8. Arthur--
    I agree with much of what you said and appreciate the way you've put it. I don't think, though, that I would emphasize the "abstractness" of black and white to the extent you have. Black and white was all we had for decades of film and photographs and they have become part of the way we see, part of our vernacular, and as realistic in so many ways as color. I don't think of Ansel Adams photographs as abstract in a way more than I would a color photo of Yosemite. Both have realistic and abstract qualities. Casablanca is not a particularly VISUALLY abstract film, although there are certainly abstract qualities to it, qualities that transcend narrative and subject, as in all art. I'm no more conscious of light in Casablanca than I am in, say, Badlands, where Terence Malick weaves a narrative but his color filming works on that same aesthetically abstract level about which you are speaking regarding black and white.
     
  9. jtk

    jtk

    I've just been fortunate to see Giorgio Morandi's retrospective at the Met in NYC. "http://www.italica.rai.it/index.php?categoria=art&scheda=morandi_90_64
    He said "Nothing is abstract in my view: moreover, I believe that there is nothing more surreal and more abstract than reality."
    Here's a photographic spin on Morandi ...very happy to find it just now...somewhere I saw a representative collection of his paintings online, but I've not been able to find it again to link..
    I strongly disagree with statements that support color photography with "we see color." We may see color, but that fact is irrelevant to photography. (note: I appreciate color photography as much as B&W photography and am technically competent with both.)
    With photography, we use devices to produce relatively permanent images... independent of brief retinal experiences. Those relatively permanent images can as readily be B&W as color...neither is more "photographic."
    I'm currently yearning for B&W film...my digital B&W prints are often fine, but inkjet prints from scanned B&W 35mm have frequently been more rewarding than DSLR B&W (Lightroom conversion from RAW). I think this mostly has to do with the way film responds to low light when processed the way I often like it (pushed, 1+100 stand-processed Rodinal.. it's edge definition and tonal scale, not just the grain). As well, film (B&W and fast color) has more inherent character than DSLR files, it's less ambiguous...film helps me make images, a DSLR file is more passive.
     
  10. A great color photograph is far harder to make than a great black & white photo. Black & white is an abstraction it becomes much more about the graphic qualities of the image . By removing color you remove information -- information . That missing information might be a distraction or it might make a better photo, it all depends on the photograph. Color used right has real power, but like I said, it is hard to use well.
     
  11. jtk

    jtk

    http://artandperception.com/2008/11/photo-morandi-i.html
    That's the photographic spin on Morandi that I failed to link above.
    Morandi often used a limited range of colors...such as browns and creams and greys... a narrow range is perhaps different from both "B&W" or "color" in photography.
    I often think antique brown and sepia toned originals (ie "B&W") and matched copies are more appealing than "neutral B&W" renditions from the same scan of the same original.
     
  12. i believe one consequence of the digital takeover is the complete shift in the default setting of the photographic paradigm from black and white to color, a shift which appears to have started in the 1970s with the advent of the instant lab for color negative film.​
    I believe you're making all this up because you have no proof either of the statements is true. Using your logic, shouldn't this shift to color have started with Polaroid which gave instant results in color - much like digital - and also totally eliminated the need for a processing lab?
    I've been shooting color since about 1980 because I find color much more interesting than B&W.
     
  13. Anybody that doesn't think color photography isn't about color ..... well they can't honestly think that. I believe most color photographers first and foremost think about what they're seeing "in color" before anything else. And, it's they're "prime" motivator for taking the picture. Period.
     
  14. Anybody that doesn't think color photography isn't about color ..... well they can't honestly think that. I believe most color photographers first and foremost think about what they're seeing "in color" before anything else. And, it's they're "prime" motivator for taking the picture. Period.​
    Then for people working in B&W - it's first and foremost about black and white and grey... I believe most B&W photographers first and foremost think about what they're seeing in B&W before anything else - and it's their prime motivator for taking the picture. Period.
    Are those statements true?
    No - and neither is your statement about color. Color is one of the elements to be used in the photograph, and it may or may not be one of the "prime motivator" for making the image.
    I work in color because I find it more interesting. Some photographs are about color - the color of objects or the color of light - but, other photographs are about the subject and color happens to be one of the elements in the photograph.
     
  15. jtk

    jtk

    "I believe..." is a reliable sign of ignorance.
     
  16. "where the aesthetic value of an image is primarily or completely derived from a study of form, texture, geometry, etc., ought we not be asking of ourselves and of the photographer, why is this image in color?"
    Sure, why not...? Could be an interesting exercise, because I can easily imagine there being many different responses... A common one must surely be "Well, why not...?" :) Or, perhaps "Because my client didn't want a B&W shot..." And let's not forget the classic "Erm, because my camera takes colour photographs... Do you have some kind of problem with colour pictures or something...?"
    The problem is that the "aesthetic value" of the image is purely in the mind of the individual viewer (including the photographer, of course), so the questioning process itself will differ from one individual to the next depending on each individual photo, along with the context in which it's presented and all the rest of it... And the answers are just gonna be a big bunch of personal opinions/reactions... Will such answers be useful to you...? Depends who you're asking, and what they have to say, I guess.
    If you find your own answers to questions such as these useful, I don't see any harm in asking... In fact, I think I'd encourage people to do just that... But OK, if the basic conclusion to all the questioning and analysis is "I just seem to prefer B&W pics these days", well, I'm not entirely sure what that achieves, because you probably knew that already... :)
     
  17. Stepping back a bit ... from that same standpoint, we should then ask "why..." about every facet of the image, not just decision to use colour. (Including "why black and white?")
    Colour or black and white (or sepia, or whatever) is one important decision making dimension among many – none of which should have a default which we have not personally made.
     
  18. Color is a distraction that takes away concentration on the finer things like gradations of light, lines, form and composition. How often have we heard the comment "Oh what lovely color!" .....end of discussion. B/W forces the viewer to see more deeply then they could have otherwise.
     
  19. Color, like the other "finer things like gradations of light, lines, form and composition " is content. As I said before, either a photographer uses that content well or they don't. And when it is used it well, people notice. Or more precisely, they don't notice it, they just take it all in as part of the experience of looking at the photo. It is only when the photo is otherwise boring or just flat out sucks that people make comments like ""Oh what lovely color!" and the discussion ends.
    To say "color is a distraction" is the same thing as thinking pepper is a distraction from the salt in a chicken cassarole; or that commas are a distraction from periods in a sentence.
     
  20. I love black and white photography; but, if you want to get some respect for color really fast, try painting. You could paint in a monochrome or "less than three" type combination of hues; I'm talking paint with a dozen colors. Didn't have any respect for the masters before? Think only cosmetic people use color? Any other color-related put downs?
    Even if you ace painting in color, I think the answer would be the opposite; it's easier to work in tones alone. Straight up easier. Why is this image in color? Okay, I think that's provocative; I think there's probably a good point in there; the image could have been made without it, etc. Maybe some people's photography would be improved by ditching color altogether.
    That said, I think that, from an artistic respect point of view, the decision to not use color would be one of structural simplification. I doubt someone would kick color out of the image because color work was too easy. Maybe it's easy to do a really bad job of it; maybe that's commonplace.
    Why use color? Overall, I'd generally prefer to ditch it; but a good sized segment of population responds readily and positively to the presence of color. Look at the Impressionist movement. Almost all of those images kick tone out of the image in favor of hue; not entirely true, but a trend. I guess people use color because they naturally like it, and they can.
    To command a mastery over a use of color? That's a whole different thing. Some people are good at it; I'm not; I say more power to those who do; it's just not my thing. Good luck. J.
     
  21. I think that only until you have worked in black and white to the fullest, from the conception of an image in envisaged monochrome space, through to the manipulations of film development and printing, using all the means of tonal control, dodging, burning and post print development treatments, can you get a complete appreciation of the medium. No, on second thought, that is necssary, but it is not enough. You have to also make mistakes. Lots of them. You can then re-adapt your thinking and practices and go forward toproduce better work. Parallel to all this is the conceptual process of how to best use the medium for your art, based upon what you as a unique individual can do within the freedom of the medium and a world of subject matter.
    The same is true of colour, within the limitations of either traditional colour processes or the more flexible numerical or digital colour image production and modification routes. Each of B&W and colour photography has its advantages for certain types of image-making. Some prefer the realism of colour, or its chromatic wealth and abstraction possibilities. Others prefer the specific artistic challenges of black and white.
    If I had to choose (and I like both for what they are) one or the other, there is no question it would be a black and white decision.
     
  22. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    I think that only..can you get a complete appreciation of the medium.​
    So only photographers can appreciate the medium? Does that mean that if you haven't used oil paint, you have no appreciation for oil paintings?
    Quite frankly, the statement is nonsense. There is nothing to back it up, nothing to make it worth thinking about. It's not just nonsense, it's elitist nonsense - only the suffering artist who has paid his or her dues is worthy. Phooey! (And that's a philosophical phooey.)
     
  23. "Color is for the eyes, black and white is for the soul."
    I'm not sure who said it and I can't agree with it 100% of the time but for me it applies. I have severe color vision limitations so I miss a lot (when I look at a rainbow I see three bands) and can't begin to work in color. B&W is a whole different story. I have seen color photos that I like and impress me but good B&W will reach down inside of me and grab soemthing.
    Because of the color vision I realize I'm probably an exception but I also think a lot of people react the same way to a B&W photo that "grabs" them, more so then one done in color.
     
  24. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Because of the color vision I realize I'm probably an exception but I also think a lot of people react the same way to a B&W photo that "grabs" them, more so then one done in color.​
    I have to believe it's because of innate prejudice, like the elitist nonsense I pointed out above, or because they haven't seen masters of color photography like Rio Branco or Lauren Greenfield.
     
  25. In school I was taught that if a painting (done with colors) looked good as a black and white reproduction, then color wasn't being used properly. Seems to me that could apply with photography. Take a color picture, convert it to B&W, and if it still really works as a picture, you probably don't need the color. If, on the other hand it looks terrible, the color is essential. Color contrast works differently than value contrast, and using one, the other, or both are valid ways of working.
     
  26. J.Spirer: WHAT YOU SAID
    "So only photographers can appreciate the medium? Does that mean that if you haven't used oil paint, you have no appreciation for oil paintings?
    Quite frankly, the statement is nonsense. There is nothing to back it up, nothing to make it worth thinking about. It's not just nonsense, it's elitist nonsense - only the suffering artist who has paid his or her dues is worthy. Phooey! (And that's a philosophical phooey.)"
    WHAT I SAID:
    "I think that only until you have worked in black and white to the fullest, from the conception of an image in envisaged monochrome space, through to the manipulations of film development and printing, using all the means of tonal control, dodging, burning and post print development treatments, can you get a complete appreciation of the medium.
    It doesn't require a lot of analysis to understand that the "medium" in my statement refers to black and white, not colour photography or everything else you can think of (why you should introduce oil painting you will have to explain....).
    I think your "rave" is way off base. If you read mine and the other posts above a bit more carefully you may realise that. B&W photographers are generally not elitists, and many, like myself take equal pleasure in colour. If you find anything at all elitist in that, please be my guest.
     
  27. "Stepping back a bit ... from that same standpoint, we should then ask "why..." about every facet of the image, not just decision to use colour."
    Felix, I don't think the photographer should ask "why?". But yeah, it's certainly an option... Well, I think most of us can benefit from asking "why?" sometimes, if only to give our minds something to chew on, and/or our mouths something to waffle on about... :)
    Having said that, there's clearly nothing wrong with just going along with your gut feeling and initial reaction, perhaps following a healthy dose of trial and error. No explicit reasoning necessary. For example, if you've just loaded a pic into Lightroom and you're playing around with a few colour presets, you may then happen to apply a B&W preset by complete accident and think "Hey, I like the look of that"... Job done... :)
    Asking "why?" about any facet of an image can be interesting, and may well help certain photographers to achieve what they want to achieve (whatever that may be...). It's certainly not a necessity though.
    Well, I can only speak from my own personal point of view, and there can be many reasons why I may choose to convert a pic to B&W. Sometimes these are aesthetic decisions, of course, and sometimes they're of a somewhat more technical nature. And well, sometimes I'm basically just having a laugh... :) For example, with this pic it just kinda amused me a little to take a shot of snowy scene and then be a bit brutal with the blacks:
    [​IMG]
    And yeah, I quite liked the colour version of the pic, but it was less amusing to me, so B&W it is... :)
     
  28. ""Color is for the eyes, black and white is for the soul."

    That is one of the more inane statements anyone has ever made. In fact it is so inane it gives me the blues. But don't worry, I'll be back in the pink soon but not if I am made green with envy first or makes me so angry that I see red.

    In a photograph color is powerful because it is evokes emotional responses, and good color photogrpahers know that two of the most powerful colors in a photograph can be black and white: Black anchors other colors, while white leads our eye away from the color.

    As with Paul Wilkins snowscape, there are definitely photos I've made in color which end up working better in a monochrome scale of blacks,grays, & whites and there are others which lose all impact if you take the color out of them. there are no reasons to suspect that is not true of all of us.

    Can color be a crutch? Sure thing. Can color be a distraction? Sure thing.
    But color can also be a bearer of strong messages. Look at the work of documentary photogrpaher Alex Webb -- http://www.magnumphotos.com/Archive/C.aspx?VP=Mod_ViewBoxInsertion.ViewBoxInsertion_VPage&R=2K7O3R1V024C&RP=Mod_ViewBox.ViewBoxThumb_VPage&CT=Album&SP=Album -- now there's a guy who really knows how to work in both black & white and in color. Even more importantly he knows when to use one over the other.

    Returning to the OP, Brian started this discussion with a serious question: "...now every time i see a color photograph i ask myself whether the color adds anything to the aesthetic value of the image and if not, why is this picture in color? "

    Aesthetics is only one part of our response to a photograph. Our intellectual and emotional responses are at least as powerful if not more powerful than our aesthetic appreciation of a photo, but all three automatically work together, and if one part of that perceptual triad fails, the photograph fails.
     
  29. Then for people working in B&W - it's first and foremost about black and white and grey... I believe most B&W photographers first and foremost think about what they're seeing in B&W before anything else - and it's their prime motivator for taking the picture. Period.
    Are those statements true?​
    Yes. Period
     
  30. I think SOME people use black and white as a crutch, because they're not very good photographers and black and white MAY look "artsy" even when it's not very good. But that's a very limited and superficial view.
     
  31. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    I think SOME people use black and white as a crutch, because they're not very good photographers and black and white MAY look "artsy" even when it's not very good.​

    Heh, I've seen this.
    It doesn't require a lot of analysis to understand that the "medium" in my statement refers to black and white​
    It was very clear. It's what you wrap around, the elitist attitude, that I was pointing out.
     
  32. I think that only until you have worked in black and white to the fullest, from the conception of an image in envisaged monochrome space, through to the manipulations of film development and printing, using all the means of tonal control, dodging, burning and post print development treatments, can you get a complete appreciation of the medium. No, on second thought, that is necssary, but it is not enough. You have to also make mistakes. Lots of them. You can then re-adapt your thinking and practices and go forward toproduce better work.​
    And after you've done all of that and no longer find it the least bit challenging....? A comparison to poetry, to me, gives the best description of the difference between working in B&W and color.
    In English poetry, iambic pentameter is often used as it can be either rhymed or unrhymed giving nearly inexhaustible variations. Compare that to haiku (hokku) which has a fixed structure in which the poet must work. Both types of poetry have their own unique challenges and are equally as creative.
    Initially, English poets were dismissive of haiku because of its apparent simplicity of form - making it "easier" to write than traditional English style poetry. It was not until Yone Naguchi and Sadakichi Hartmann started publishing haiku in English that the haiku style had an effect on the Imagists / Modernists (Ezra Pound's "In a Station of the Metro" as an example).
    So it is with B&W and color. Black and white (if done with film) has a wealth of controls available. From film choice, exposure and development, film developer choice, through application of filters and printing choices (contact prints, enlargements, Van Dyke prints, platinum, etc.). It is the iambic pentameter of photography. Thoroughly expressive with hundreds of variations and combinations that must be carefully chosen and controlled.
    Contrast that with color that has a limited amount of controls available. Exposure is fixed with the film (or sensor's) inherent latitude. Little can be done for contrast control - there is no equivalent of "expose for the shadows and develop for the highlights." While you can use some types of filters, most (other than a polarizer) are blatanly obvious and lend little to final image. Likewise, printing choices are equally as limited. So, you have a haiku like photographic form in which you have a limited structure in which to work.
    For some people (like with haiku poetry) the inherent limitations seemingly make it easier as you have a fairly fixed structure to work within. For others, making a successful photograph within that structure is the ultimate challenge specifically because the nearly unlimited controls that can be applied in B&W are not available - and you must think, create, and invent the image within the limitations.
     
  33. Then for people working in B&W - it's first and foremost about black and white and grey... I believe most B&W photographers first and foremost think about what they're seeing in B&W before anything else - and it's their prime motivator for taking the picture. Period.
    Are those statements true?
    Yes. Period​
    Self limitation by self-definition....
     
  34. "I think SOME people use black and white as a crutch, because they're not very good photographers and black and white MAY look "artsy" even when it's not very good."
    Haha, indeed Fred, and this is surely the single greatest benefit of B&W... :) People often seem to associate B&W images with "artsy", so it's fun to take advantage of that, of course, and turn colour crap into "artsy" crap... :) I'm sure many of us do that, to a lesser or greater degree. Sometimes it works a treat...
    "But that's a very limited and superficial view."
    Well yeah, but it's true... :)
     
  35. Jeff: Your inference of my having an elitist attitude is absolute nonsense. If we cannot discuss the pros and cons of various mediums of photography without putting the contributors into a specific and unattractive category, are we really honouring the intent of this column?
    I am off north for Christmas visits for about a week, so my very best wishes to all here for great renewals with family and friends within whatever festive holiday you may be celebrating (Jewish, Christian, Islamic, etc.). I much enjoy your ideas and your images. Thanks for that pleasure. And Jeff, you are a mean street photographer, very nice stuff. Keep your lens hot in 2009!
     
  36. Some good observations here. And a reasonable respect for others' choices or opinions, or beliefs. I never really gave it much thought, but I know it is essentially a choice of artistic merits that come from the gut more than the brain. Here is one story that comes to mind.
    When director Spielberg made his version of Thomas Keneally's powerful historical based " Schindler's List" he was big enough to call the shots, color would be the default by then, looking at greatest returns and audience expectations. He was urged,nay begged even to film in color and release in black and white. And he said No, or rather- NO! He even had to dig up enough correct monochrome film to do it and I understand that was not so simple. He said merely (paraphrasing Spielberg) " I see that period in black and white in my head." Strong willed director whether his films suit your taste or not.
    I thought his cinematographer on "List ,"Janusz Kaminski did a brilliant job, and the few touches of color were even more profound in their way, like some of the color touches in photos we see here, but only a few now and then.
    So, without making a case for the obvious, I personally believe it is an artistic choice, and the challenges for both are tough in their own way. In a world saturated with color gravure in mags, it is tough to make a really great standout color photo, and some of the best use color in a subtle and brilliant way. I guess if one is thinking monochrome vs color when you look at a picture,well, maybe the choice was wrong...
     
  37. "ought we not be asking of ourselves and of the photographer, why is this image in color?"
    Brian-
    Back to the original post. You may be right about those images- they would look good in BW, but that is the photographers choice. Noticing things like this however only makes YOU a more informed photographer and more prepared for the time when you go to shoot. Is this moment going to be conveyed better in color or BW? But then again you also have pretty much no right to ask. It was the photographers choice- NOT YOURS. Maybe they were doing something that completely escapes you. Quite possibly they don't have the ability or availability to make BW photography. Maybe the client wanted it in BW. Maybe they don't like BW. Who cares- it was their choice and it has nothing to do with you. I know, we all are critics- myself included- but that is where it has to end, with us. Now focus on your own work and forget other people's aesthetic decisions- you'll be far better off.
     
  38. "why is this image in color?" Because Ernst Haas showed how color photographs could create as much visual impact as black and white photographs. The photographic world has not been the same since.
     
  39. Paul Wilkins: I don't, myself, think we should (or should not) ask why. My words "from that standpoint" meant that IF one is asking "why?" from the point of view of colour THEN it logically follows to ask "why?" about other picture components as well. Whether (or not) one actually asks (whether consciously or at a gut level) "why?"at all is a personal thing and there is, for me, no "should" or "should not" about it.
     
  40. I know what you mean but i still think it is funny though because black and white are colors too,so it is all about colors really.
    It's always about color something else is not possible.
     
  41. Self limitation by self-definition....​
    “There is only you and your camera. The limitations in your photography are in yourself, for what we see is what we are.”
    Ernst Haas.
     
  42. Rio Branco
    What a fantastic Photographer. Thanks, Jeff.
    BW, colour, does it work? What else needs to be said.
     
  43. jtk

    jtk

    Steve Swinehart's exhaustive post of Dec 23, 2008; 11:33 a.m. is important..very well thought out.
    I do disagree with what appears to be his notion that color offers less opportunity for control than does B&W.
    That might have been true for most photographers with wet labs (when contrast masking and other controls were rarely used and hardly anybody had the skills), but it's not true in our digital reality.
    However, the way I read (misread? expand upon?) Steve's larger point, digital's unlimited set of manipulative tools does not necessarily offer more opportunity to create than darkroom B&W's smaller set of tools offers.
    Maybe a haiku offers more creative opportunities than a sonnet, sometimes, or for some of us.
    I hope Steve S will rejoin this thread and expand on his idea, perhaps correcting what I've said.
     
  44. thank you all. i do appreciate all the responses, even the smug condescending invective in opposition to the thought which motivated my original post. i'm going to upload some of my color work now, which it seems i have inappropriately shunned up to this point.
     
  45. Oh Dear, Eye of the beholder.. If the photgrapher believes that the image is best presented as monochrome, surely this is right. Not a subject for the viewer to mutter and discuss but for the presenter to put into the public domain for its own merits.
    To resort to subterfuge in saying or intimating this would have been better or worse in colour only undermines the viewers inability to assess and determine the intentions of the photographer. All to often we rely on mediocre and inane comments sooner than appreciate the intent or openly admit a lack of understanding of the intent.
     

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