Monday, April 17, 2006


Adam and I were talking about color. Well, I was anyway, and how black and white photography is a little too easy and color is actually more difficult because people deal with expectations of what they think reality should look like in a photograph. With black and white images, you already have a deal with the viewer where they understand and agree to throw the notion of reality out the window a bit since we live in a world of color and therefore any black and white image is going to be an artistic escape from reality. With color images, if you want to adjust color for artistic reasons, people frown and wonder if something went wrong. Also you can have an image that is incredibly well composed, well planned and well exposed but color can kill or make the image. Black and white images (to me) are, well, easier than color. That doesn’t make them less cool but they don’t wow me as much as an amazing color image.



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4 comments:

Craig Cochran said...

I'm not crazy about the image but...NICE COLOR.
If art was merely representational of what we see, it would be boring. Hence there is an emotional connection which "makes" an image regardless of color. Ansel Adams never really saw white clouds against a black sky... he made it that way to give the viewer an escape from reality. Color is perceptual (unless you talk to the International Color Consortium).
The problem with color is that we don't need contrast or texture to distinguish between things. Notice how Avery blends in with the trees in the black and white image? A great black & white image can impact a viewer just as much as color.
I'll quit now and go to bed. I hope these thoughts don't keep me up.

John Amundson said...

I agree with what you're saying Craig, and I maybe should have clarified where I was coming from with all this. There's a bunch of photographers out there who put out nearly 100% black and white dream images with no highlight detail retained because it's essentially an overexposed image that's been desaturated. That's fun and all but I get frustrated with people thinking it's so amazing and that it must be so incredibly difficult and ingenious and ooo and ahhh. Obviously a black and white image can impact a viewer even more than a color image but it just bothers me to see people oo and ahh over something that's easier to pull off than a great color image. You know what? I think I'll do a little experiment. Only black and white for the rest of this week. I guess I'll see what happens. Of course, with businesses called B.L. it's hard to not throw those up first.

Craig Cochran said...

I should apologize for what I said. The image of Avery is actually a very nice image. I don't write the same way I think so it probably come off wrong. I love both color & black and white images. Some pictures look better one way than the other. I understand your frustration with people who have preconcived ideas of what a picture should look like. Having worked with processing black & white images and color images (the old fashion way) I would agree that good color images are harder to obtain than thier black & white counterparts. Hope you give me the last word because this is your blog. Happy Easter to you & keep up the great blog.

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