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Thread: B/W or colour?

  1. #1
    Kris V's Avatar
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    B/W or colour?

    During a walk in the woods we stumbled on this creek - it's not visible from the road.
    All I had with me was a Kodak P&S - so I had to shoot jpg.
    It has a built-in panorama setting (3 pictures) so I decided to try out that option.
    I'm not sure which one works best - I kinda like both versions, with a slight preference for the B/W

    B/W or colour?


    B/W or colour?

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: B/W or colour?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kris V View Post
    I'm not sure which one works best - I kinda like both versions, with a slight preference for the B/W
    I think that for those of us not there, Kris, we have to work harder to distinguish all the features in the B & W version. There's not a huge variation in tonal range and it takes our eyes a bit of time to work out what we're looking at and sort of out the different elements in the image. Whereas with the colour version that information is all available on sight.

    You were obviously there, so the information is already embedded in your head and, I suggest, you will be 'seeing' the B & W more clearly than we initially do. For that reason, I think the colour version works better.

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    Kris V's Avatar
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    Re: B/W or colour?

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    I think that for those of us not there, Kris, we have to work harder to distinguish all the features in the B & W version. There's not a huge variation in tonal range and it takes our eyes a bit of time to work out what we're looking at and sort of out the different elements in the image. Whereas with the colour version that information is all available on sight.

    You were obviously there, so the information is already embedded in your head and, I suggest, you will be 'seeing' the B & W more clearly than we initially do. For that reason, I think the colour version works better.
    Donald,
    I just printed out both pictures, and for me, the B/W still works better....... but I do agree with the point you're making.
    Now that I found this creek, I'm planning to go back there with my dSLR, and try to retake some pictures under better light conditions.

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    Re: B/W or colour?

    I will go with the colour. The variations in the hues present a much clearer separation of things in the photo for me than do the tones of the B&W. I can see the colour picture without trying to figure out what it is I am looking at or where the subjects boundaries are. You like the B&W so you've got two that people enjoy.

  5. #5
    Kris V's Avatar
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    Re: B/W or colour?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew1 View Post
    You like the B&W so you've got two that people enjoy.
    So true....

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    Re: B/W or colour?

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    I think that for those of us not there, Kris, we have to work harder to distinguish all the features in the B & W version. There's not a huge variation in tonal range and it takes our eyes a bit of time to work out what we're looking at and sort of out the different elements in the image. Whereas with the colour version that information is all available on sight.
    Kris, Donald has expressed my first thoughts very well in his post but, lower down you still write "...for me, the B/W still works better...". For the benefit of someone like me, who often finds it difficult to understand why someone would want to remove the colour from a wonderful photograph, perhaps you might explain why the converted image works better here.

    Philip

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    Re: B/W or colour?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kris V View Post
    During a walk in the woods we stumbled on this creek - it's not visible from the road.
    All I had with me was a Kodak P&S - so I had to shoot jpg.
    It has a built-in panorama setting (3 pictures) so I decided to try out that option.
    I'm not sure which one works best - I kinda like both versions, with a slight preference for the B/W

    B/W or colour?

    Kris,
    I really like both photos you have captured the mood very nicely, it is a place that I would love to visit!! I do prefer the color version, the reflections in the water are beautiful and the colors really speak to me!!

    Kathy


    B/W or colour?

  8. #8
    Kris V's Avatar
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    Re: B/W or colour?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrB View Post
    For the benefit of someone like me, who often finds it difficult to understand why someone would want to remove the colour from a wonderful photograph, perhaps you might explain why the converted image works better here.

    Philip
    I'm not really sure - it's a visual thing I guess, especially in print. Hubby prefers the colour as well.
    (And I really spent a lot of time with NIK SilverEfex to get to a B/W result that I liked!!!)
    Oh well, there will be other occasions where I can play with B/W conversions.
    Thanks all for the feedback - much appreciated!

  9. #9
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: B/W or colour?

    I think there is a lot of misunderstanding of when to best use colour versus black & white, and of course personal taste does come into play.

    One of the great compositional approaches in creating a really compelling image is to simplify the scene, and B&W is one tool to help achieve this. Changing a mash-up of colours to gray scale will often take a complex scene and reduce it to a more basic form and result in a more pleasant overall image.

    I don't think that it works particularly well in this image. It is already a mix of textures and the colours actually help order these scene. I find that as a black and white image, it actually seems busier, not simpler. We have to work harder to interpret the image and that is not something that works for me.

  10. #10
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    Re: B/W or colour?

    Colour..if only for the depth and interest in the reflections.

    Lovely shot.

  11. #11
    Kris V's Avatar
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    Re: B/W or colour?

    Guess I'm really in a minority here - but I don't have that much experience with B/W.
    Sharon, thanks for the nice comment. The colour print now hangs in my husbands' office - the B/W in mine. (Until a better one comes around!

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