B&W or colour?

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by laser8, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. laser8

    laser8 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 29, 2013
    Mare nostrum, Istria
    Hi there,

    I'm finally getting close to ending editing pics from my recent trip to Palermo (if it sounds like a colossal, work intensive job, it sounds just about right!). I'm finding that a lot of the pics I took could look well in both colour and B&W. Would you mind checking some examples and letting me know if you'd rather see more of the colour, or of the B&W once I'm done with editing?


    San Cataldo by Cadenela, on Flickr
    San Cataldo b&n by Cadenela, on Flickr
    Monreale by Cadenela, on Flickr
    Monreale b&n by Cadenela, on Flickr
    Kocevje by Cadenela, on Flickr
    Kocevje b&n by Cadenela, on Flickr
  2. Kingsfan

    Kingsfan Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 22, 2010
    highland park, CA
    Real Name:
    1 - b&w
    2 - color
    3 - b&w
  3. alex66

    alex66 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 23, 2010
    1: either
    2: Colour
    3: bw
  4. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Colour, colour, b/w
    • Like Like x 1
  5. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    #1 Both look good. I would try to do a sepia tone on the B&W version and see what that looks like.
    #2 The color is better but I think this is only because so many details were lost in the B&W. If you could bring back those details it might be great. You could also crop the B&W, turning it into a square, cut just above the arches. I do like the high contrast of the pillar top.
    #3 B&W!
  6. G3user

    G3user Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 26, 2013
    Colour, colour, b&w for me. Great shots BTW :)
  7. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    color, color, b&w for me.
  8. rbelyell

    rbelyell Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 15, 2013
    Mountains of NY
    i find exactly the same in many of my results, so i take your inquiry more as a philosophical than specific instance issue. what ive done for years is shoot 'film bracketing' of color and b&w whenever cam lets me, or raw (color) + jpeg (b&w) whenever it doesnt. this allows me to always directly compare on download. when i cant decide, i keep both versions. imo, the more one does this the more they appreciate b&w.
  9. mrjr

    mrjr Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 25, 2012
    I'd vote:

    1. Color. B&W looks too flat.
    2. B&W gives it some mystery.
    3. Probably B&W.
  10. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Cut tweak the clouds to be more dramatic. Not vastly, just a touch
  11. pisanoal

    pisanoal Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 29, 2012
    Id say it depends on what you wanted to emphasize. The 1st and 3rd photos really emphasize the texture when in black and white. The second photo, the sculptures at the head of the column really stand out in color, while the geometry of the whole image stands out in black and white. I think my preference would be #1 color, #2 color, #3 BW
  12. laser8

    laser8 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 29, 2013
    Mare nostrum, Istria
    Thanks all, I think the general opinion is quite clear! I'll limit the B&W to those I really like more than the colour ones...

    @rbelyell - yes, I find myself thinking a lot of times how a certain picture would look in B&W, I'll try to see if I can set the GX1 to raw+B&Wjpeg.

    And I'll try to "standardize" my B&W post processing, I find myself wandering about too much still - probably because I have not developed a "taste" yet.
  13. Crdome

    Crdome Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 11, 2011
    West Central Indiana
    Real Name:
    1 + 2 loose their essence in B+W. 3 offers equally important perspectives.
  14. nsd20463

    nsd20463 Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 30, 2011
    Santa Cruz, CA
    1 - B/W. The color version shows the two lighting sources (daylight, here in blue, and what is probably incandecent) and it's distracting. Plus the church is an old place and goes fine with B/W
    2 - definitely B/W. The B/W version takes away all the unessential parts and emphasizes the interesting details. You can look at the B/W version longer.
    3 - neither. To my eyes the B/W clouds are overcooked and the color version is dull, and neither is at the level of the first two photos.
  15. _Matthias_

    _Matthias_ Mu-43 Rookie

    Jan 4, 2014
    Stuttgart, Germany
    Real Name:
    All color
    The second looks just horrible in b&w and the third much grainier.
    I'm not a b&w fan, after all the world is in color and if theirs no really really good artistic reason, why remove 2/3 of the info. It's kind of like only typing every third char, that makes the text more artistic but it doesn't improve its quality. If a photo is so bad, you need to convert it to b&w to make it special, it may be better to get rid of it. I very rarely see pictures where b&w is a good fit.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. RichardB

    RichardB Snapshooter

    Nov 19, 2012
    Maryland, US
    Real Name:
    B&W is sometimes useful to salvage a shot with poor colors. It can reduce skin blemishes (with a digital red filter). It can also emphasize lines and shapes in a composition.

    Your first two images are very good in color and they lose a lot in B&W.

    The third image looks good in B&W because the contrast is higher, especially in the clouds. Also, frankly, the color version has the crappy old Panasonic greens. Sorry, the colors there are just not very pretty. You might be able to improve the colors in post-processing, or add contrast and drama to the sky without converting to B&W. Otherwise, the B&W treatment improves the shot.
  17. Superstriker#8

    Superstriker#8 Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 24, 2013
    I think pictures with lots of color changes or small pockets of colors look better in color than b&w.
    And I personally like Panasonic greens.
  18. janneman

    janneman Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 6, 2012
    Real Name:
    Jan (John) Kusters
    I like them all three in B&W. I might do a bit more burning in number 1, make some parts at the top a bit darker. Right now I feel it would be too 'blonde' for my taste (but then I like all my B&W dark and moody :smile:)
  19. laser8

    laser8 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 29, 2013
    Mare nostrum, Istria
    Thanks. Regarding the pana colours, the day was very very gloomy, and it really looked like that. The raw file was much gloomier...
  20. chonbhoy

    chonbhoy Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 23, 2013
    Scottish Highlands