B&W or Color?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by D7k1, Aug 31, 2016.

  1. Color

    10 vote(s)
  2. BW

    6 vote(s)
  1. D7k1

    D7k1 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Nov 18, 2013
    These days, I am processing more in B&W. My formative photographic years were in the late 60's and B&W was the artistic realm for photography. Over the 50 years I done a bit of commercial work, most of it in color (mostly slides) but when I turned mid 50's I slowly drifted back to B&W. Of course I shoot in RAW Color and then process it as I know digital cameras are really only computers and you want as much information to work with as you can get. Sometime I even print (Epson pigment) and I am pretty much in wonderment about the quality I can get from the desktop.

    This is a simple poll. Do you prefer Color or B&W photographically based images?
  2. astrostl

    astrostl Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Oct 4, 2014
    St. Louis, MO
    Justin Honold
    Most of my shots are of people, and for shots of people I prefer B&W.
  3. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    I go back and forth. I do feel color is overused in this era of photography, and lots of images look very messy as a result. But I am a fan of mild split toning, which takes the edge off of uncomplementary colors and is commonly used today in one form or another.

    I'd rather see a messy color image where everything clashes, however, than a straight B&W conversion where none of the tones or contrast are edited. More often than not people think just converting to grayscale is artsy somehow, but there's obviously more to it.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  4. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    For the most part I prefer B&W. However, the subject, lighting, composition, etc really dictates whether I shoot (or PP) in B&W.

    I have a hypothesis I have shared in other threads. I am red-green weak colorblind. I think that that might be somewhat why I like to shoot in B&W. By eliminating all those shades of green and browns (reddish), I get a better feel for the light. I can compose better and I get more artistic enjoyment.
  5. DanS

    DanS Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 8, 2016
    Central IL
    We need a both option in the poll. To me it depends on the subject, some thinks look way better in one style than the other and visa versa.
    • Agree Agree x 8
  6. yendikeno

    yendikeno Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 5, 2015
    Mostly color (landscapes, wildlife), but occasionally will convert to b&w with certain subjects.
  7. AdamSF

    AdamSF Shutterbugger

    Oct 13, 2013
    San Francisco, CA
    I shoot black and white film. 99% of my digital photos are in color.
  8. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    I voted colour, but had to think about it. I do love a good B&W.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  9. aukirk

    aukirk Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 9, 2012
    I prefer color... usually I find when I process in B&W it is because I can't get the white balance to look right (which seems to be an increasing problem for me lately).
  10. bigboysdad

    bigboysdad Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 25, 2013
    Sydney/ London
    If it's sunny, no clouds, early/mid afternoon then no question, it has to be B&W. The tones are (or should be) better and there are some lenses, the Pany 14mm f2.5 for one, which will produce excellent B&W tones.
  11. ionian

    ionian Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 20, 2016
    Kent, UK
    A friend and mentor of mine on another forum always says that by converting to black and white you are throwing away 95% of the data contained in an image - so you need a damn good reason to do so. I'd agree with this, I'd prefer the richness of shooting colour where possible, but sometimes (often in fact) I choose to simplify my pallette by going mono or tri-tone.

    I totally agree with @agentlossing@agentlossing - black and white processing is an art and so often you see just a muddy lump of grey mid tones. I always convert to B&W in post, as options for organising the contrast and playing with colour filter emulators are very important to my images. Having said that, I will usually know when I take the image that I want the final output to be in mono.
  12. I'm not sure whether the poll means in camera or final image. Normally shooting with e-m1 and todays lenses ( 12-40 pro ,sigma etc )I'll shoot in colour and convert to B&W later. If I shoot with My Old OM glass , I will run B&W in camera. To me , looking at an image in B&W can give me a different perspective on the scene to Photographed. I recently bought an e-p5 for the sole reason to keep old glass on there all the time . Well most of the time.
  13. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    My problem with B&W is that most people don't actually shoot/process BLACK & WHITE well (myself included) and instead we get these shot that are kind of a whole lot of grey scale. In fact many shots you see poking around, say, flickr that are supposed to be B&W often have little actual blacks or actual whites in them. If you look at a lot of the old photographs back when B&W was the norm, true blacks and true whites make a lot of them the great shot that they were.

    EDIT: @ionian@ionian beat me to the post button with our shared view of "B&W" photos often being a lump of grey. :2thumbs:
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. D7k1

    D7k1 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Nov 18, 2013
    Well you cannot blame the process for pilot error.
  15. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    Ummm, thank you Capt. Obvious? I believe that is exactly what I said... "most people" (the pilots) don't process them well. I never implied that B&W in of itself was somehow to blame.
  16. D7k1

    D7k1 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Nov 18, 2013
    Well perhaps you should be more selective in those B&W you view - how many poorly composed, out of focus, bad colors color images are there? You have the classic logical error of going from specifics to a general conclusion.
  17. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
  18. astrostl

    astrostl Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Oct 4, 2014
    St. Louis, MO
    Justin Honold
    ITT: salt
    • Funny Funny x 1
  19. mpg01

    mpg01 Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 21, 2012
    When I asked myself which I prefer the first thing that came to mind was that I don't think I've been doing this long enough to make a definitive statement. I like and prefer both for different reasons. But I think I have a soft spot in my heart for B&W. It's what I learned with in the dark rooms and capture with the old Pentax way back. I always think of B&W as conveying more definitive statements and some of the most respected photographers have made their mark with it. I respect B&W more.
  20. Leighgion

    Leighgion Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 1, 2012
    Madrid, Spain
    Leigh L Pang
    I love B&W film but I've an ambivalent relationship with digital B&W. I used to enjoy it, but since I shot and developed my own B&W film, digital B&W just hasn't looked right to me and I rarely do it now.

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