burn is an online feature for emerging photographers worldwide. burn is curated by magnum photographer david alan harvey.
Don’t you miss colour sometimes when shooting in BW mode? I seem to see everything and everyone in colour in summer and BW when winter arrives.
Looks like you’re home again. Superb pic – as it goes without saying…
it’s perhaps odd , but i do not equate the choice between b&w and colour with the subject matter…nor the seasons, nor the weather etc…Rio for example is always “summer” always “colourful” etc…i shot Rio for three years in colour, and now for the last year in b&w…..this had only to do with my mood and obviously nothing to do with the subject nor the light nor the weather….i think i have written before here on Burn, that i always considered myself a b&w photographer who was trying to learn how to shoot colour…i always felt that colour was a struggle….partly because for me colour for most of my work was in transparency form…and flat out hard to do…..camera exposure was it…click and that was it…this “restriction” also helped me to really look at colour and i realised early on that my colour was totally based on my b&w seeing….i eliminated colour as much as possible…this had people telling me they loved by “colours” when in fact i was trying like hell to be very monochromatic….when shooting colour i often missed b&w …when shooting b&w i rarely, if ever, miss colour…i almost never think, oh i wish that was in colour….yet my print sales are almost all in colour…..go figure!!
Much I you, I tend to see summer in color and winter in B&W. I love, love, love spring through early autumn and all of the changing colors.
Something about the drab winter colors and low sun have me thinking of shadowplay.
Paul, our brains fill in the color in b&w images. Probably from stored memories. So maybe b&w allows for a broader range of color appreciation for the specific viewer. Some eloquent functional MRI studies have suggested this. So David, you are filling in your own colors, and allowing the viewers to do the same. For me, friggin white balance drives me crazy. So I keep it in b&w.
David, I’m guessing the color heavy print sales are because you are just so much better than most top photographers at shooting color. Of course you are very good at black and white, but so are a lot of people. It is, as you noted, much, much easier. The compositional skills necessary for being a great color photographer are like chess vs checkers compared to the compositional skills necessary for black and white, imho.
Welcome back! Happy to see you here and part of the Burn family.
I usually dislike shooting colour images on drab grey winter days, that’s probably why I probably shoot BW in winter. I can imitate/create good light under-exposing and shooting flash but there are lots of occasions where BW makes my life easier.
I sympathize with your woes with white balance. Have you noticed these days how we are all so preoccupied with getting it right? Take a look through Divided Soul (my favorite summer photobook) and you’ll see a couple of images with the “wrong” color balance. Of course it isn’t wrong and as you well know there wasn’t any damn color balance rubbish. It’s film and shooting in the shade with a daylight balanced film turned everything kind of blue if you didn’t correct it with a filter or a flash.
My understanding is that white balance doesn’t matter a whit, except possibly for chomping purposes, when shooting RAW. Personally, I love winter light. If there’s a little moisture in the air especially, it’s great for color. The summer sun, on the other hand, requires a lot more finagling.
Oops, by “chomping” I mean “chimping.” The automatic spell check, I now see, doesn’t like the word. I can just imagine it sipping tea after work with the other spell checkers and saying in a toff accent, “to chimp, is not a verb.”
Yeah it doesn’t matter whilst shooting raw… but I’m talking about working in lightroom and photoshop.
you said; “and now for the last year in b&w…..this had only to do with my mood”
When I look at some of your last pictures like this
I perceive as dark and moody. Even those on beach.
This stems from the subject, what is happening in front of the lens, or you’re looking for darker emotions?
This is a temporary change, or something more permanent? Or no change at all?
and is it just me? my perception?
I think that link you posted is work done by Alex Majoli not DAH…..
are you sure?
ok, I found these pictures in Majoli’s newest protfolio.
Must be magnum’s search bug.
the question is out of date :)
That search engine needs some work ;-)
you sticking w b&w in Venice? that will be interesting….you do have your b&w down tight….in any case, looking forward to seeing you again soonest….
David, for sure I will keep it in B&W. I’m excited about Venice. I adore Italy. I have roots and a strong attachment to Central Italy. But Venice…well, though I speak Italian I’m not sure I understand Venetian. For sure a challenge. Looking forward to seeing you again. V
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