A debate that could rage on for eternity, but let’s look at the basics. Every
photographer has their own unique style, developed over time and moulded by their
background and personality. Some photographers stick religiously to black & white
images, whilst others swear by full colour. Which is right? The question to ask
though is which is right for the individual image.
Take a photograph that has been shot in full colour. Change that same image to
black and white and the whole feel, mood and emotion of the image changes
drastically. In-fact the entire message that the image portrays is different. This can
be a powerful tool in the photographers armour if used in the correct way.
In today’s digital world, a colour photograph can be changed from colour to black &
white in the click of a button, enabling instant viewable results. And if colour vs.
black & white wasn’t enough to contend with, Sepia has been added to the mix, also
holding a strong case for selection and use, and having choice IS a good thing.
Once you have chosen the most effective colour(s) you can then perfect the image in
programs like Photoshop. Personally I don’t like to alter the original image too
much. I do however correct the colour, lighting and contrast.
If your framing your image then you have more considerations, you need a frame
that will compliment your image and enforce your message. For example, if you
have a strong black & white image of a natural scene, how does it look set in white
card with a dark wooden frame?
Have a go and experiment with your own images, first ask yourself what kind of
mood and message you want your photograph to give out. Try it in full colour,
black & white and Sepia. Each will have its own effect on the image.