Color or Black and White?

By: danitacahill

Jun 11 2012

Tags: , , , , , ,

Category: Action shots, Black & White, Child Photograhy, Color, Focal point, Portrait photography, Spring


Focal Length:300mm
Shutter:1/0 sec

How do you decide whether to leave a photo in color, or change it to black and white?

There are several factors that I figure in before taking the time to convert a color photo to monochrome.

High-contrast photos convert the best. So, look for lights and darks at both ends of the value chart or tone spectrum.

Next think about the purpose of the image, or the quality that makes the photo “king.” (Click here to see a post with more on this).

If color is king, then scratch the monochrome idea.

But if it’s something else that makes the photo special – say a face that you want to bring out – changing the photo to black and white might make it more pleasing to your eye.

I took this photo at the Strawberry Festival Parade in Lebanon, Oregon the first Saturday of this month. I don’t know who this little girl is, but she’s adorable and her expression prompted me to fire a shot. The red of the tractor and the blues of the figures in the background are vivid, but distracting.

I tried cropping the photo to leave out the girl to the right and the background figures, but I wasn’t happy with that. So, I tried turning the shot to black and white. I’ll share that photo and tips later today.

Copyright Danita Cahill. All rights reserved.


3 comments on “Color or Black and White?”

  1. Hiroaki wrote on my Facebook link: “I think that it is good to be sepia, too.
    Black and white however, color however, her impact is left in the impression.I think that photograph itself is wonderful.”

  2. […] Cahill Photojournalism Imagine. Dream. Create. Color or Black and White? […]

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