True Photography is known for loving color! It grabs your attention. Color can be beautiful, realistic and alive. However, black and white is timeless, understated, and honest, and it allows you to focus on the moment being captured. One question our clients frequently ask is how we decide when a photo should be produced in color or black and white. There’s always a reason behind the way we present each image, and we’re here to give you a peek at our process.
Since you can always convert a color photo to black and white, but you can never go the other way, we photograph entirely in color! Then, during the enhancement process, we review every image and decide which ones should receive the b&w treatment. Each of our enhancers has a trained eye, and they know how to present the image in the best possible way.
“When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in black and white, you photograph their souls!”- Ted Grant, (godfather of Canadian photojournalism)
In this post, we show you ten color photos, as well as black and white variations of the same images. On the first five images, the color versions are stronger and present better. For the second five images, black and white brings out a little something extra. Take a look below and let us know what you think!
Five photos we prefer in color:
1) We took this photo during an Indian wedding ceremony, which is a colorful occasion! It is the colors that really brings this image to life. Also, colors have cultural significance in Indian weddings that can be lost in black and white photos.
2) Sometimes, color just looks prettier. Though we also love this photo in black and white, we miss our bride’s unique red hair, magenta lips, and bright blue eyes. Also, the small details help to finish this image, like the pink in the groom’s boutonniere.
3) Color grabs your attention! A burst of color (like the red umbrella) draws your eyes to the main focus of the photo – the lightening! Also, a color image can capture a range of hues and tones that is absent in black and white images.
4) Colors can enhance any mood if used correctly. For example, take a look at this bride and groom with their wedding party just after the ceremony. In this image, the colors enhance the humorous and playful situation.
5) Colors makes images come to life so they seem more real and vivid. Because flowers are vibrant and have lots of texture, a color version is going to be much more satisfying to the eye.
Five photos we prefer in black & white:
1) Black and white reminds us of our past, which we often romanticize. In this photo of the boys sitting on the curb, the black and white treatment creates a moment in time that takes us back to being young. Also, because we see the world in color, an image like this becomes more interesting and distinctive.
2) A photo in black and white allows us to concentrate on the image itself, rather than the color. In this photo, the groom is emotional as his bride walks down the aisle. The use of black & white helps to mute the background to focus on the moment.
3) Black and white is stark, and it makes people can look more powerful and serious. The absence of color in this photo really suits the stern expressions of the men and their “Godfather-esque” stances!
4) Since a majority of old photography was done in black and white, it can help a modern moment feel timeless. There’s nothing more classic than a bride looking at her love through the window of a 1930 Chevrolet Packard! There is no indication in the b&w version that this photo was taken circa 2012!
5) There is so much emotion in this photo of the bride reading a note from her groom just before the ceremony. The black and white version brings out the facial expressions of the bride and her maid of honor, adding more real drama to the photo.