Black and White or Color? How do you decide? Is one better than the other?
If you know me, you know that I can't resist a good black and white. Almost every other pic on my instagram is BW. I am just drawn to it. When I edit an image I aways edit it in color first but I will also check to see if it will look good in BW. It's amazing how BW changes the look, the feel and the mood of an image.
But not every image looks good without color. So how do you know if it should be BW or Color? Here are some examples of color vs. black and white along with my thoughts on which one I prefer.
The picture above I feel like could be BW or color, either image looks great and can stand on it's own. I do love how in the BW her cute 8 year old teeth and her scrunched up nose are more accentuated, and I like how the strands of her hair seem to stand out more. I ran a poll on Instagram and color won. In some cases it's a personal preference, and that's ok. The red wall and hues of her hair and skin go well together to make it a fun beautiful image
This next image is of my son making a goofy face. I actually really like it both in color and BW. I love the detail in the BW but I also love the soft light and colors of the original image. They each give a different feeling. Which do you think is a stronger image? I feel like the BW image is stronger and bolder. Looking at the two side by side my eye is more drawn to keep looking at the BW.
Sometimes an image might have more clutter and by turning it BW it helps put the focus on the main subject. For example my daughter was working on building her desk. The area in our garage was cluttered with tools and "stuff" that belongs in a garage. In the color image she kind of blends in with all that is going on. Her hair is even the same tones as the wall and cardboard behind her. I also notice my eye bounces around the image, trying to take in every bit of color and object. By turning the image to BW my eye goes directly to her and I don't bounce around as much trying to take it all in. The clutter is still there but it's not as distracting.
Although in this next case turning the image BW made it feel more busy. With all the leaves and trees surrounding the family, as well as the plaid and textures on their shirts, I feel color was the best option to see the family and enjoy the fall colors.
Black and White will give you a timeless feel. This image of my daughter in her pointe shoes is definitely more classic and timeless in BW than in color. Her shoes, hair and tutu all stand out. The intense look in her eyes draw you in. Where as in the color image her eyes kind of get lost. This is an image that she will cherish and love till the end of time. It is soon to become artwork for her bedroom wall and because of the classic feel to the image it's not going to go out of style as fads change.
How do you know if it should be black and white or color? First of all try it out and see which stands out to you the most. What stands out when you change it? Do you focus more on what the main point of the image is because you changed it or do you loose certain details? All questions and thoughts to consider as you are playing around with your editing. Like I said earlier, sometimes it's a personal preference. Maybe your image makes you feel something more and you get more of a connection because of it. I hope you'll try turning your images into black and white and see what you like better. Black and White or Color? Tell me what you typically prefer.
Next week's post I'll talk about how I achieve a good black and white and what I do during the editing process. I hope you'll come back and check it out. See you soon.