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How colour shifts meaning of a photo
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 3:35 am    Post subject: How colour shifts meaning of a photo Reply with quote

I would like to submit to you this photo. First is the original in colour, second is B&W conversion:








In the colour version, the attention is grabbed by the jacket, the colours (blue white and gold), and the crisp rendition of the Summicron lens.

In the B&W version, the attention shifts immediately on the face of the girl instead.

The consequence is that the colour photo is perceived as a "genre" photo, representation of a public event, colourful etc.

On the contrary, the B&W photo is perceived more as a portrait. The face of the girl, finally commending attention, takes us to think about who may she be looking at, what could be in her mind, etc.

A simple B&W conversion can really, under certain circumstances, change not only the face but also the "inside" of a photo.

I am realizing that practicing B&W conversions is very useful also for our colour photography. We may not keep (and probably will not keep) the B&W experiments, but our colour photography will become more conscious and aware of what is working in a photo and where does it take us. And this ultimately will lead us making better photo choices from the start.


PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 3:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've always liked doing B&W conversions, just to see how it might change
the picture's personality. In yours, the B&W pulls the subject out away from
the background more I think, along with drawing the attention to the face.

She's babelicious, luv a girl in uniform! Wink Unfortunate crop at the
bottom, BTW, would've liked to have seen the "whole ensemble". Laughing


PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also think the people in the background is more "in the background" in the B&W. Nice!

Good idea for a forum also, "Art Talk".


PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree Orio, but take in counts that the B&W conversion has more balanced tones than the coloured one where the girl has everything except a good light on her face.

Btw, this forum section is a GENIAL idea.


PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent demonstration Orio, it helps me to understand a bit more of the philosophy of photography.


PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 5:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A good point - but how about the way different black and white conversions of the same picture look? I find that fascinating too.


PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Am I the only one who thinks the focus in the B/W does not shift to the face? Attention - for me - remains at the jacket, especially in the B/W.


PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was digging in this part of the forum and ran across this old thread.
Very valid demonstration! Having shot for 6 months almost exclusively with a dedicated B&W-camera (which does not register colour-information at all) a side-effect is that I have become a lot more aware of colour too, in particular what it adds to a scene, but also what it sometimes takes away.