I would never want to see things in just black and white, but as far as photography goes, with the aid of Photoshop you can see your colour photos as monochrome images as well and it makes for an interesting experiment. You find yourself concentrating more on the shapes, textures and composition of a picture – it’s a bit like when you turn the volume on a television down – what you notice are the facial expressions of the people on the screen, their gestures and movements rather than just what they are saying.
Of course some people only ever shoot their pictures in monochrome and they often turn out more striking than if you desaturate an image you’ve taken in colour. Here are some of my black and white pictures: I think architectural features stand out, patterns and textures are accentuated, you notice the shadows, reflections and shapes in the windows of buildings, the markings on a butterfly’s wings or a bird’s plumage.
I love this picture – the snowy white plumage of the goose and the dark gravel behind it. Birds’ plumage and their beady eyes look great in black and white
Reflections, mirrored in water or glass, create some interesting effects
A silhouette creates a stunning image. A dark shape or outline against a light background makes for a great photo.
Eliminatiing the colour is an excellent ploy for getting people to concentrate on the details, the forms, the action …….
I’ll finish with some butterflies – one of the most colourful creatures I can think of – but with their extraordinary markings they still look beautiful in black and white !