Your response would be greatly appreciated!

Does the hypothesis below help you decide at all whether colour or black and white is better and why?

Black and white should be used for a fleeting moment that takes your attention or when lines, textures or shadows are the main subject.

Colour should only be used:

– when it has an instrumental role in helping the viewer understand the scene

– if a specific colour or group of colours coincidentally appear in an obvious way, regardless of whether this was noticed at the time of taking or post-processing the photograph

– if the presence of a colour appears to be exceptional (eg, northern lights/aurora borealis, a sunset, eye-catching coloured lights)

The clarity of subject and photographer’s personal taste ultimately decide upon which factor(s) play the more important role in choosing between black and white, and colour.

Thanks

My third and final hypothesis, and concluding opinion

I have addressed the use of black and white as well as colour and is mainly directed at trying to help photographers decide between a colour image and its black and white variation:

Black and white should be used for a fleeting moment or when lines, textures or shadows are the main subject. Colour should only be used: when it has an instrumental role in helping the viewer understand the scene; if a specific colour or group of colours coincidentally appear in an obvious way, regardless of whether this was noticed at the time of taking or post-processing the photograph; or if the presence of a colour appears to be extraordinary. The clarity of subject and photographer’s personal taste ultimately decide upon which factor(s) play the more important role in choosing between black and white, and colour.

Concluding opinion:

From my conclusions in the first two chapters, of finding black and white more artistic, serious, neutral and sometimes more modern than colour, and the concluding hypothesis I constructed in the third chapter, I have arrived at a final conclusion which is the complete opposite of my opinions in the introductory paragraph which stated that I strongly preferred colour to black and white because we see in colour, and to shoot in anything else would be illogical and pretentious, especially when used in the modern context.

In terms of how a photograph is taken, I now believe that it is better to shoot with an eye for black and white, as this creates more emphasis on light, tone, shade, texture, line and content, but to be just as open to keeping images in colour, rather than believing that colour is a distraction.

Photographing Harrogate

More photography

Experimental photos for 2nd hypothesis

My second hypothesis:

Colour should only be used when it has an instrumental role in helping the viewer understand the narrative element to the scene; if its interestingness is a product of an obvious coincidence of the appearance of a certain colour; or if the presence of a colour appears to be exceptional. If not present in the scene, colour must not be introduced in front of the lens, or falsely edited by the photographer. The clarity of subject and the photographer’s personal taste ultimately decide upon which factor(s) plays the most important role in choosing between black and white, and colour.

Ones that correspond with this:

The other versions of the photos above:

Photos that have challenged the second version of my hypothesis:

9/11 Museum visit Joel Meyerowitz – Five More Found

Before viewing, a quick caution that the last image shown is of the fire brigade and NYPD on a rescue mission in the aftermath of 9/11, which may cause upset to some people.

I will remember the feeling I got from this photograph when looking at scenes in my hometown, as I found it interesting to question my own thoughts on finding such a beautiful photo of a disastrous scene.

Meyerowitz has composed this photograph so that part of a building in the distant background behind the rising smoke adds depth and shows the sheer scale of the damage that had been done. The orange glow is central to the image and is the first component to be noticed; this places the importance on what is happening. The eye is then guided towards the context of the glow as the floodlit blocks of concrete and strips of metal, which are highlighted against the dark night sky, show the difficulties that the rescue team are battling against. The brightly coloured hard-hats and reflective strips are dotted about in the foreground, which then brings the attention towards the people who are completing the rescue that is taking place. The clear indication of it being night time gives a sense of urgency, as it shows how hard these people work at any given time.Although black and white does not cause the loss of detail in this particular image, colour makes it easier for viewers to differentiate between the scene’s various components. In terms of context, colour gives more detail as to what is happening in the scene; the warm glow in the darkness signifies that the firemen are cutting through metal in an attempt to rescue those trapped inside.

Five More Found, New York City. 2001. Joel Meyerowitz

Five More Found, New York City. 2001. Joel Meyerowitz