How To Choose Your Best Photographs – Black & White Photography or Colour?

It is always interesting to see the kind of photographs that capture the news and of course a hovering ship was bound to attract attention!  ‘Hovering ship’ photographed off Cornish coast by walker – BBC News – This image occurred due to ‘special atmospheric conditions that bend light’ and a great fun image that Mr Morris captured, querky and a unique moment indeed and capturing moments that are reproduced in photography are always exciting. This is what I love about photography, that we can capture the unexpected and instantly share, whether this is due to unusual atmospheric conditions or indeed our eye for the unique and that magic moment!

The editing is probably the hardest bit for most photographers. Should I use this image or that? I’ve often had to walk away from some of my choices and revisit them later but choosing how to treat a whole gallery or individual images I find easier. I’m probably one of the few photographers who thinks it’s a good thing to mix colour images with black and white. I think one should treat every image individually, so while everything is shot in colour, I have no problem at all into converting certain images to black and white. There are several reasons to convert these images to black and white from distracting background colours and patterns or even to create a feeling of timelessness.

I will often mix my galleries as I’m one of those people that thinks putting a black and white image next to a colour one brings out the colours and helps the viewer appreciate both more.

An interesting example where I deliberately mixed the colour and black and white to make a point is my ‘Wailing Wallscollection, set in Jerusalem and Bethlehem. I converted all the Jerusalem photographs of the Jewish Western Wall to black and white to emphasise the timelessness and sorrow of the area. Then the more recent security wall in Bethlehem I kept in colour to show off the graffiti and reality of the wall. To me, it made a point, in particular the title where I wanted to say that both walls caused upset and sorrow.

In terms of photoshop (other programs are available) I don’t invent. What I mean is that I don’t delete, move or insert something. I do delete the odd blemish of course, usually caused by some dirt on the sensor, and then it’s contrast, sharpen, crop, and convert to black and white if I want to, so I would say I enhance rather than change.

So use your camera to capture that magic moment and share with confidence !

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