« Some Pictures Have to Be in Color | Main | Sigma FP M: Short Take and Personal Impressions »

Thursday, 25 August 2022


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I looked at that B&W collection on Flickr and have a number of observations. (1) Just because it's in B&W doesn't make a photo good. I had somewhat higher expectations of these photos, because if somebody is shooting in B&W he/she is probably an enthusiast. But, it is what it is. (2) For most of the photos, B&W strikes me as an affectation. It simply wouldn't make any difference whether they were B&W or color. Of course, I couldn't see what the color might be in many of them, unless it was foliage, and maybe some of the B&W conversions were done because the color was poor or even offensive. (3) It strikes me that back in the day, when B&W was the default mode, it was in most cases a handicap, not a feature. B&W is now a purely aesthetic choice, but it works best with only a narrow range of photos. The point being, that if you go out with a Monochrom, or even just a monochrome, you'll have to pass on a great range of photo possibilities because they'll want color. So, if you can work your head around it, and if Lightroom/Photoshop conversions turn out as good (for the shooter) as a Monochrom or a monochrome, you'll have a much more interesting photo day if you retain the color possibilities, n'est-ce pas? (4) The strongest non-cliche B&Ws seem to be portraits, where you have a never-ending variety and in which color really doesn't seem to matter much.

Maybe add a link to your blog on Flickr?

[Not allowed. --Mike]

I’m guessing that Flickr “Pro” users are allowed to link to their websites, since many do, and that you were unable to do that before you paid them.

I went to the Rhode Island School of Design library today (they have EVERYTHING) to look at the Eliot Porter 1962 edition you recommend. Quite amazing color printing for 1962 BUT we have come a LONG way in color photography/printing in the past 60 years! Odd/way off overall color on balance many of the photos, odd looking sharpening on many of the leaves, many blown out highlights. Not sure how this book looks compared to the original chromes.

I agree with John Camp. Black and white certainly can be an affectation now, but in the day, it was the only way to go. Printing color in the darkroom was an exercise in futility, endless iterations of off colors. Skin was always too yellow-jaundice, or blue-heart disease. The greens were never quite right. When color became doable on a computer in the early days of Photoshop it was an absolute revelation. Using a monochrome only camera is like running in a race using only one leg. You can do it but it's really hard and you miss out on a lot. Having the range of colors available to adjust the equivalent of the yellow, orange, or red filter in micro units is also a huge advantage. I've seen prints from Leica M's of various vintages and like all such arguments, you need an imagination to see differences. I'd never argue against people enjoying and choosing whatever gear they feel enhances their creativity but... Content is still king.

Don’t use Flickr for commercial activity, unless you’re a Flickr Pro.
Only Flickr Pro members are permitted to link directly to a shopping cart, checkout page, or pricing pages on other sites. Flickr Pros may also list prices for their products in their Flickr photo descriptions.


I think maybe I can see some of the artifacts you reference in the accidental jpegs. Maybe.

Can you point out where to see a clear example? I have downloaded the osprey nest shot, but unless I crush the levels to the center, I don't see much.

While I always try to display my "best" and freshest work, I'm very bad at evaluating my images. As such, I post almost daily to Flickr as a "beta test" to help me determine whether a photo has some merit. The ratio of "views" from random viewers to "faves" & "comments" offers a crude metric.

I suspect that most people, while interested, are passive when surfing others work. As such, I figure within the first 24 hours of exposure, if 10% of the image's viewers are moved enough to indicate a "fave", or better yet, "comment", then something must be happening in it.

I still have my personal "keepers" though I'm frequently pleasantly surprised.

Cheers... M

KeithB: "In my photography class in college, we were to have one shot that illustrated depth of field. I had a young cousin pose in a field like yours with a fairly large aperture. So I used a field to illustrate depth of field!"

Hmmmnn, a dual cabbageway?

I'll get my coat ....

The comments to this entry are closed.



Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 06/2007