As a photographer, I am always intrigued by photos in general. I really enjoy photos!….. all photos! Ok. That’s understood you moron! One thing I enjoy is the difference between color photos and black and white photos. It’s the moment of truth where you decide to go color or black and white. It’s a big decision for a photographer when you edit a photo.
In that regard, I always wonder about a photographer’s decision to convert a photo to black and white (or edit in color). Where does that come from? How does that happen? How do other photographers do it?
In my universe, I always look for an analytical, explainable answer to a question. I like rules! I like the “I before E except after C” things in life. In talking to other photographers, there is a rational reason for converting to black and white. Generally speaking, a photo with lots of contrast will be a good candidate for a black and white photo. In other words, a photo with a wide range of highlights and shadows really encompasses a black and white photo.
At times in Portrait Photography, I thought I could hang my hat on this general rule. But over time, I realized that the decision to edit in color or black and white is more feel (rather than rules or science). I have spoken to some photographers who say that can just tell the moment they snap a photo. Some photographers say they know right away whether or not a photo will turn out best in color vs black and white. It’s a feel thing! At some level, you just feel it!
This “feel” of photography is something that I always try to grasp. As I said many times in the past, photography is a combination of science and art. But after you grasp the basics, photography is more about art and feel rather than some scientific principle. That’s why I am fascinated by photography! As a pharmacist (by trade), I try to steer photography into some type of scientific principle. But in the end, I am humbled by the fact that photography cannot be encapsulated into science.