Colour or black and white? (part I)

above images ⓒ SWS

If I’m forced to choose, black and white images almost always win out for me, although I’ve posted the above example because I’m less sure here… I keep wavering!

I think Diana Eftaiha sums up the appeal of mono images well when she says:

Vibrant saturated colors can very easily steal the spotlight away from the more important elements of a particular image, while working within a more restricted palette means putting more emphasis on the true nature and value of a given image.

Black and white photographs often have more impact, especially in a world some may say is already over-saturated with colour. I think portraits in particular resonate more powerfully in mono, which adds a layer of complexity and timelessness to the subject. A black and white portrait seems to better convey the story of a person’s lived experience somehow.

For me, the following portraits from the Immediate Family series by Sally Mann, for example, just wouldn’t be as strong in colour…

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