• Black and white. There are interesting color interplays in the full color shot, but that car is a painstakingly cared for deep black trimmed in chrome with the same amount of care.

    The depth and perfection of the paint shows in the B&W shot, no swirls or scratches in the wax. I find the color shot, while interesting, a little too busy. They way the rope gaskets reflect orange the multicolored light bouncing off the paint surface distracts the eye from the lines of the subject.

  • To me, what’s interesting about this photo are the repeated circular patterns overlayed by the straight lines. The B&W accentuates those patterns. To my eye, the sign doesn’t add much, though, to either shot. Not that you could do anything about having it in the background. But here’s a suggestion. Try desaturating the color quite a bit without taking it to full B&W to see what you get.

    • I’m learning that as much as I love color, people seem to much prefer my b/w shots. Not sure what to make of this. Both of you have technical observations that exceed my own ability as a shooter, which is fun – post it and then pay attention as sharp eyes point out what I did… 🙂

      Lex is right about the color being busy, and JSO is right about the sign in the background. I actually like that sign, though – I felt like the color provided an interesting point of contrast, although I know that technically elements drawing the eye away from the focus = bad composition. I assume I’ll eventually get over my fascination for bright colors.

      And JS – yeah, the interplay of the circles (light, fan) with the lines on the grille is what attracted me to this one. I’m finding that I love geometries.

      And now, I’m off – with luck I will soon be worthy of the insightful comments I’m receiving….

  • I don’t “prefer” your B&W to your color shots, Sam. I thought your shot of the flowers and waterfall in the background was very good, and it clearly works best in color. It’s just that I’ve commented on two of your shots, recently, that I thought worked better in B&W for very different reasons. Some great shots in color look like, basically, nothing in B&W. B&W is generally about luma. Color is mostly (but not entirely) about chroma. To the degree that luma is the key to the artistic elements and story you’re trying to tell, B&W tends to work best. Obviously, it’s vice versa for color.

    But there are other considerations, as well. Is your story bleak? Saturated color tends to work against that, so desaturated color and B&W may be better options. Is your story cheerful? Saturated color may be the way you want to go. But not always, of course. Breaking the rules is a good thing if you do it with purpose.

    • JSO: That was more of a general comment than one for you specifically – I’m finding that a lot of folks opt for b/w versions of a lot of shots. You’re certainly right about when X works vs. when Y works, I think. I’m just wondering if there’s something about the kinds of things I’m drawn to that lends itself more to b/w, which I had honestly never considered.

      Now, as for all the interesting ideas, ask and ye shall receive. I went back to the core images and did a very low saturation version. And I took the sign out. Here is is:

      I might ought to put the sign back, only with the color taken out completely. What we have now is a clump of negative space top right drawing the out as surely as the color sign did before, feels like.

  • I lean toward the B&W myself, but for far less refined reasons. It’s just a matter of taste. A desaturated version would also be cool to see. Could this be a case where a composite image (sorry if my lingo is off) would accomplish a little of everything…B&W or desaturated for the car and have the sign pop out in color? Or would that look gimmicky or leave the image unbalanced somehow?

  • Actually, i think the original and unaltered shot might be the best of the bunch. (or the decolored sign in an otherwise original shot)

    As someone who “taught” himself photography with a hand-me-down 35mm camera i greatly appreciate the wonders of digital photography. I think of how much faster and cheaper my learning curve would have been with the ability to play with settings and see the results of the same subject instantly.

    However, there’s something to be said for being forced into thinking through composition, etc. and then going for it … and having to live with the results rather than being able to really manipulate the image after the fact and with ease. (not that film can’t be manipulated, but it takes a whole other skill set and equipment)

    I have a near-SLR digital camera now, but i don’t think i’ve ever taken pictures with it as good as what i took with the old-fashioned 35mm. Caveat of learning that 35mm in Russia with the White Nights to play with.

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