A lot of people seem to prefer either black and white or colour photography. In the past there were strong reasons for doing so as you couldn’t switch film mid roll, instead you’d stick to one type for 24/36 (or fewer in medium) shots. When you add in the different perspective you have to adopt for black and white or colour photos. It isn’t surprising that even now, people still enjoy shooting either in black and white or colour. But some recent experiments have left me appreciating both colour and black and white.
Black and white
After picking up my new Fuji EF-X20 flash I’ve been experimenting a lot more with on and off camera flash. My general thought is that I love black and white for these images, especially in the high contrast style of someone like Jacob Aue Sobal. This style of image seems to be a little unreal, focusing your attention on the subject in the foreground and it doesn’t seem as important when the background is blacked out due to the ambient exposure being low.
It also makes textures more important. All the typical aspects that black and white photography focuses on. At the same time, it seems to make a lot of sense to use black and white with flash as the “temperature” of the flash’s light isn’t so important and this makes it easier to edit. In fact, if you over expose a bit with black and white using flash, I think it can look quite cool. Less so with colour.
At the same time, I’ve found myself drawn to the classic chrome filter in the Fuji x100t more and more for William Eggleston style colours. I think it was on “on taking pictures” where they called it the “Eggleston filter” but I might have got that reference wrong.
These rich and creamy colours really make a photo. Sometimes I love taking images just of interesting colours like these leaves that I saw yesterday. Not necessarily a classic shot but I enjoyed taking it.
So I find myself both enjoying colour photos more and more and enjoy black and white photos more and more. It’s another reason why I’m sticking with digital for the moment. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still taking my olympus film camera out and I’ve got some more film stockpiled and ready to shoot with, but the fuji is a really great camera and the ability to switch between on camera flash in black and white and colour at the drop of hat (and not wait for a roll to finish) is really great.
Also published on Medium.