Inspite of what seemed like a period of really poor weather I traveled from my rule home to the local city and made a series of both colour and Black and white images. I was quite disciplined in the process and set my camera to monochrome to make the black and white images. I shot a sequence in black and white and then reported the activity with the camera back in colour mode. As some one who still predominately shoots film I am very familiar with the idea of shooting specifically in colour or in black and white and feel I d have a different mind set in each mode. when shooting black and white I am looking much more at tone and when making colour images I do lok for relationships between colour and shape.
This proved to be an interesting exercise and below I have picked out a few examples of from both the black and white set and the colour set.
Features of the Black and white set
- Content, structure and composition stand out first
- Black and white images ask an inherent question about time. I know i search images for indicators within the image that allow me to date it. The second image above perhaps illustrate this. it is clearly and old building, it is though the YMCA posters in the windows that denote that its is reality contemporary, this isn’t always possible and some recent black and white images can have a timeless feel
- Signage also stands out and can date an image
- I tend to hunt for the narrative or story almost immediately in a black and white image
Features of the colour set
- Composition is significantly influenced by the relationships between colours
- The images are clearly contemporary
- The dull weather is more obvious
Learning points from the exercise
There is to me value in setting out to shoot in black and white rather than simply converting in post processing, this exercise affirmed that view. It was also iterating to reshoot a theme in short succession thinking separately about colour and black and white.
Thinking specifically about reportage approaches as opposed to documentary style, colour is perhaps more likely to create a sense of intimacy and connection between the view and the subject and scene and whist I have seen lost of black and white so called reportage approaches in fields such as wedding photography I am not convinced that this type of work is anything more than nostalgia.