Color vs Black & White
A couple of weeks ago I shared two photos on my social media accounts, a photo of a rose in both black and white and color. I asked people what version was their favorite, and the results were overwhelming towards the color version being everyone's favorite. I said I was going to make a blog about what version was my favorite, but my recent travels have delayed this blog slightly. Stay tuned for my blogs about my trips to both Washington DC and Iceland!
Back to the roses. Like I previously stated, the colored rose came out on top for people's favorite version of the photo. This surprised me because the black and white version was by far my favorite out of the two. The colored image was delicate and beautiful, but there was just something about the black and white that I adored.
The colored version is beautiful and there are many good things about it. One thing that I love about this photo is the shade of red. I think that the red color is beautiful and a timeless look with the baby's breath. There is nothing wrong with this photo that makes me like the black and white more, but the black and white version showcases what I was trying to achieve.
Some people might look at this photo and wonder why I would take all the beautiful color out of the rose. I have other pictures of these roses that are bright and vibrant, but I wanted to try something different. When I was photographing these roses, I spent maybe an hour just rotating the vase, analyzing the sunlight, and finding the best angles to capture their beauty. I found that taking what felt like the same photo and trying to show the crimson color got to be a bit boring, so I wanted to try something different. Instead of showcasing the rose, I tried to use the rose as a canvas to showcase the light. I decided to precisely split the light through the center of the rose and create a gradient effect. When I was taking the photos of the rose, I didn't think I was going to convert it to black and white. But as I was editing them, the colored version just did not have the effect that I was envisioning. I felt like the red and green colors distracted from the light and the gradient. So I felt like converting the photo to black and white would eliminate that aspect and show the gorgeous split lighting.
After fiddling around the lighting and contrast, I was happy with the photo I produced. It did feel like something was missing or that it could be better, but I didn't know what. Below is the picture that I created right after the photoshoot.
Now, this next bit is going to be a shameless plug to the Greater Rochester Camera Club. Sometimes I feel like a walking advertisement for the group because they have taught me so much and my photography has exponentially improved since I joined. I attended one of the monthly meetings, and the monthly challenge was to take a lifestyle or still life photo. During the meeting, members of the group will give critiques on all the images that were printed and brought to the meeting. I decided to bring the picture of the black and white rose to see how I could improve it. Shawn Pierce, who is an outstanding photographer and co-founder of the GRCC, made an excellent point and said that the baby's breath on the left side of the rose was distracting from the lighting. After he pointed it out, I could see that the baby's breath did pull the viewer's eyes away from the rose. So afterward, I decided to make some further changes to the rose and try and remove the baby's breath.
So here is the final image. It took a while to get there, but I am thrilled with the results. Since there was so much editing that went on with this photo, I want to share the raw photo directly out of the camera. Below is the raw image, as well as other images I took during the rose photoshoot. I would love to know if you like the colored or black and white version of the rose better!