It's a question I get asked time and time again.........below you'll see the pro's, cons and myths surrounding this age old debate.
The important thing to mention is to never shoot something with the thought that you will decide wether its going to be black and white or colour at a later date.
Lighting, composition and styling should all be changed depending on the final outcome you'd like.
The first myth I wanted to bust is that all digital images are either black and white or colour.......in fact, all RAW images produced by the camera are in colour and when the colour and white balance has been correctly set before the shoot; all images will have the same colour palette.
Most people in the industry do not see RAW files.......those beautiful shots you see popping up on the monitor on the day, or back of camera have already gone through some form of retouching. Usually a treatment is applied to every image as it enters the computer programme. This is instant and hands free.
Unfortunately, no photographer is clever enough and no technology exists for us to shoot images with these effects. It is all retouched.
This also stands for black and white. As I said earlier, all RAW images are colour so when you see a black and white image pop up on the screen or on the back of the camera.......again, these are NOT RAW files.
With colour, you should look at the whole colour palette, wether that be complimentary or contrasting. in black and white, the focus is usually on texture, shape and the tones in the image.
Advantages of black and white:
- It gives a timeless beauty to images (although it can also be used to date an image to a particular era)
-high contrast black and white can create a very visually striking image
-black and white tends to be more forgiving on the subject
-it can also really help add and enhance a particular mood
-without the distraction of colour, black and white offers a simplicity and purity to photography
-typically, shadows in black and white appear stronger and more dynamic
Advantages of colour:
-Just that....you're adding another dimension to the shot by adding colour.
-Colour gives the opportunity to give a true representation of a scene, model or product
-Eyes: one huge advantage for me shooting in colour is the ability to showcase a models eyes. There is nothing more engaging than a piercing blue or green eye.