B+W Makes better shots?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Recess, Jun 22, 2006.

  1. Recess

    Recess TPF Noob!

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    I've been in two minds as whether to put this in here, or the forum below. I figure here will do, as I'm a relative beginner.

    I'm in the process of taking a load of photos to support a book I'm writing (DJ'ing for Dummies) - and as the shots will be printed in black and white, I'm trying to find the balance between making it nice for both B+W and for colour (for promotional use).

    Of course, there's not much of a balance, but it did make me think about how black and white can improve a lack-lustre shot dramatically if colour isn't an issue. I'm not book read on photography, and you can all judge the shot below as to if I'm any good anyway - but I was interested if anyone had any thoughts as to why desaturating a shot can suddenly make it worthwhile, whereas the colour version didn't do anything for you (well, me).

    I know the actual colours are part of this, but from a technical point of view, is there any reason that black and white can be aesthetically more pleasing?

    If anyone can actually understand what I'm trying to say here, I'd love a response. If you're sitting there wondering what the hell I'm on about, then I'll have a deeper think, and get back to you. Doesn't look good for the book if I can't get my words across right, huh?

    Thanks in advance.

    [​IMG]


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  2. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

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    Personally, I prefer Black and White most of the time.

    That said, I'd recommend shooting images with fine-grained color film (or low ISO settings, in color, on a digital camera). When they print the images, they'll convert them to BW, as needed, and print them at a low resolution. You'll never get full resolution, or anywhere near it, in print... take a close look at the images in any given For Dummies book--or any other book.

    If you shoot in color, you have the advantage of being able to use the color version if you need to or want to, whereas if you shoot BW from go, you're stuck with it. You can always convert from color to BW, but it's much harder the other way around.

    It all comes down to this: the illustrations in books are not top-quality, so go with flexibility.
     
  3. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    Since I shoot digitally, everything I capture is in color. I convert most of my images to b&w. Since I shot mostly b&w when I did film, that's not a problem, as I learned to see an image that way.

    Personally, I don't think b&w can make a poor image into a good image. I know that it can have an emotional impact (for lack of a better word) on people viewing it, but so can a lot of red. It's still only one aspect of the image. Quite often b&w or color will be more appropriate for a shot, but if the image has to rely on one or the other, then I think it usually needs a better composition. If anything, I would say that there are more images that rely on color than ones that rely on b&w.
     
  4. Recess

    Recess TPF Noob!

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    Thanks to you both for your input. I'll still aim for the best quality possible for my shots, and give them the best starting point for compression.

    I guess, what I meant to ask is that if something DOES stand out more when it's in black-and-white, what would you say the problem on the original could be, lighting and highlights? No post-processing (which may improve something originally lacklustre) better colour controls?

    I'm assuming there isn't one answer to this, but I've always been intrigued by the fact a dull colour shot can be improved (notice I didn't say 'made great), but desaturation.

    Thanks again.
     

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