Back in July 2014, I took this photo of a young woman feeding a pigeon some bar snacks. At the time, I was going through more of a black and white phase, but returning to the image recently when assessing pictures to include in my portfolio, I decided to see what it looked like in colour. Not surprisingly it looks very different. Perhaps more than anything it feels a lot warmer, which considering the intimacy of the captured moment, seems to work better. That said, I was equally convinced monochrome was the right choice all those months ago, so there’s no guarantee that opinion will persist.
It’s funny but to me she looks sad and lonely when the picture is in color. B&W, she looks fine and happy. Strange.
That’s really interesting. Very different to how I felt. It highlights one of the the many things I like about photography — how subjective it is, and how images can be seen so differently.
They are both the right choice, as any bead selling man in robes might say :O)
It is interesting how the monochrome has the same effect as a wide open lens in focussing attention, and the pink/brown/beige opens the attention up.
That’s a good point. One of the reasons I often opt for black and white is that the many colours of Tokyo can be way too distracting.
Color for me. I think it looks more natural. But gotta say, whichever you choose it’s a very very cool shot! 🙂
Yeah, I know what you mean.
Cheers! It’s definitely a shot I’m very pleased with.
Nice shot regardless! But I appreciate the contrast of the girl’s delicate skin colors with the gray of the pigeon and concrete, and the bright, almost garish red of the bottle carrier.
Yeah, I agree. There’s definitely a little more to the colour version.
Color imparts an immediacy – to me anyway. It’s happening now. The B&W version suggests timelessness. It could be anytime in the last fifty years, or older. Both are good.
In my opinion, that’s one way to gauge quality photography: does a photograph retain depth of impact across formats? Does format change bring different, but equally affecting sentiments to the story? This one does.
That’s a great way of looking at it. The timeless or otherwise feeling is a good point too. As much as I like the look and feel of film, one beauty of digital is the option to choose colour or monochrome. Something that’s both useful and sometimes very interesting indeed.
Back in the day, a fellow shutterbug friend of mine always had an additional color film loaded camera – of the same model as his primary, which was always loaded with B&W. He also carried a Polaroid for framing tests. You know what? Today’s camera tech is way better LOL Heck, I have 12 Megapixels on my dang phone.
I remember darkroom work making B&W prints from color negatives, but it was an effort to get contrast, and levels and values correct, or where I wanted them anyway – as impactful as from B&W film. Difficult and almost never worth it.
Yeah, photography life is definitely much easier now. Plus, even if you do go the analogue route, the results invariably have to be digitised in the end. Something that has always stopped me when I’ve debated getting a compact film camera.
The two both have their own appeal and quality. I find it interesting how the crates look so dark and the utility cover looks so bright in the black and white version, when both have a similar colour vividity to my eye.
When I did B&W film photographs I had a series of glass filters I used to use. They were supposed to be for different types of skies/clouds but they produced indoor prints with quite a distinct feel. I enjoyed the developing and enlarging processes in our converted coal bunker when I was a kid. I wish I’d asked my Dad not to sell all his gear now – not that I have room to set it all up in my house.
Cheers. Yeah, there are quite a few big differences. Most likely the editing process played a part too.
I think many people will now have similar regrets. Same with vinyl in many ways I suspect. But like you say, whether they would actually be used or not is a different thing altogether.