Black & white vs color for street photography. which one is better?

Hi guys its been awhile since i published on my blog am back . I recently went through my email address and i got a question from one of my readers Martin,  Martin asked me the following,
 " have been a loyal reader of your blog and i noticed in your photographs they all in black and white and not even one is color "....
 Q: Whats the mechanism behind all this, why not use color in street photography ? color or black and white. Thank you. 
I really appreciate  Martin asking  the question. This has been day to day issue that i encounter as a street photographer. why do you photograph the street in black and white and not color?  

There are many pros and cons to both color and black & white in street photography.... i will talk about it below. 
Before we get started a simple google will do, search street photography, you will realize that you will get most of the images are in Black & white. further more, when people think about street photography they always think about classic black & white images taken by the likes of Ansel  Adams, Dias Arbus and Robert capa. 

for me i don't believe that street photography is meant to be taken in black & white or color. There are cases that black & white are more appropriate and in other  times color is more appropriate. In this article i will outline the difference between both mediums, while describing when it is appropriate to use either. 
                                        BLACK & WHITE STREET PHOTOGRAPHY.
"when you photograph people in color you photograph their clothes, but when you photograph in black & white you photograph there soul"  Ted Grant    photo by Jessy Kigen 
when you check out a black & white photograph you likely to see the classical and nostalgic look all together. Black & White reminds us of our past which we often romanticize and idealize. Not only that, but we don't see the world in black & white which makes this image more interesting to look at. Black & white photography creates more artistry intensity than color... that's for my own opinion.

Below are the points at which i feel its better to shoot in black & white for the street photography.    


Photo by; Eric kim
All the masters in the history of photography, they are all taken in black & white (as black & white was the only type of film available back then). Think about all the memorable images you see in post cards or posters.... all of them are in black & white .
when we think of the past, for some reason we always imagine the memories and pictures in our mind in black & white . 


Photo by Jessy Kigen
-Black & white allows you to concentrate on the image itself, rather than  color . you can pinpoint certain details in the composition, which may have been obscured by color. At times i also noticed that certain images can get far too busy when in color, and black & white allows you to cut back on some of the distraction.  

-In my pictures you will find color reason being that color  has a different feel and life to it when compared to street photography. In my opinion , it makes things come to life and feel more real and vivid. Not only that but when you are shooting in color you can color a variety of hues and tones that black & white cannot. 
below are some reason why it is better to shoot in color than black and white.

*It allows to highlight certain element in an image.  

Photo by Matt Stuart  
-With color you can highlight elements of an image which often get forgotten in black & white , for example in the above image by Matt stuart , the juxtaposition between the red and yellow add to the composition and balance of the image. Had this image been in black & white the red color may have been obscure against the background not only that, but the color red is strong symbol of mischief --which would have once again been lost in Black & white. 

*Grab's your attention 

Photo by. Trent Parke
In this image by Trent Parke, the red color of the sign almost screams at you for its attention. This is due to the fact that we have emotional and psychological connections with certain colors - especially with the color red it yells "look at me!" therefore when shooting street photography and you really want your  audience to look  at something. color is definitely the way to go.

-Martin hope this Article will be of help,  thanks for being a loyal reader of my photography blog. 

--whats your take on the subject of black & white  VS color for street photography? please tell me your opinion by leaving a comment below. Thank you. 

check out more pictures and photo updates on the following links. flickr  facebook page.

                                                                        - The End-


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