Wednesday, November 28, 2007

B&W Impact

No matter what advances in photography have or will be made - I am constantly reminded that nothing holds a candle to B&W photography.  Strongly contrasting tones convey so much mood and feeling - B&W has so much more magic than color.  

Photo of Louisville, taken by my good friend Steve Parellis.  Taken with a Canon Rebel xti and a 28-135mm lens at iso 100.  
Panorama stitched together using Photoshop Elements Photomerge.

A few weeks ago I photographed a wedding in downtown Louisville and have been working on the images over the last few days.  The reception is always tricky because of lighting challenges.  The light is so much of the mood but I always struggle with color casts.  One of my favorite ways to capture the reception is in B&W.  For one, it eliminates any color cast issues.  Secondly, it allows you to photograph using higher iso for an antique film effect.  And finally, it captures a very 1950's elegant drama that feels like it belongs in a Frank Sinatra song.  In my book those are some pretty good reasons.  Lets take a look at some supporting evidence:
The image was not bad to begin with; however, this is a great example of color taking emphasis away from the bride and groom.  The background should frame them and point toward them.  I felt that it was doing exactly the opposite.  I felt that the couple got lost in the business of the colors - primarily because there wasn't sufficient contrast
In so many instances photographers try to eliminate shadows.  This is partly because so many times harsh shadows are not flattering.  However, there is defiantly a case for shadow in wedding photography.  And one might argue that B&W is defined by shadows.  Not only does the B&W version cause the Bride & Groom to pop off the page - it also brings out the detail in the Bride's dress.  All-in-all, this was a no-brainer.  Much better in B&W than in color.

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