To Be In Color Or Not To Be In Color

DSC_9835“When to go black and white and when to go color?” is a question that comes up frequently in my classes.
Four photos, shot of the same kids, same time, two in black and white and two in color. I typically default into black and white for the same reason a lot of songs don’t have strings or guitar solos in them, because it isn’t always needed. Color can work as a graphic element, a focus of attention, a shorthand of mood or era, or a necessary commercial attraction- but if it’s none of those then it shouldn’t be included.
The image with multiple balloons is an obvious one to keep the color to because a bunch of bright sunny colors is psychological shorthand for being a kid, energy, the nice seasons, etc. The colors speak to the scene- if it were black and white, they would just blend together without much separation. The image with the single balloon in the kids chest, would be a bright center of attention that dominates the photo and takes away from his expression, the background, etc.


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I'm a multimedia artist in Phoenix, AZ. Main Site - Instagram @primordialcreative + twitter @dbmillerphoto

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