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Thread: Why do you shoot Black and White over Color?

  1. #31
    Greg Lockrey's Avatar
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    Re: Why do you shoot Black and White over Color?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Rodriguez View Post
    It amazes me how insecure photographers are about their art work. "Is black and white more artistic then color?" "Am I more of an artist because I develop myself?". Maybe it's feelings of insecurity because you're not painting?

    Most of my artistic background comes from music. I played guitar in metal bands when I was younger, then DJ'd professionally during the rave scene hay days in San Francisco. In the music world you hear the same sort of insecure comments from veteran DJs now - "I'm more of an artist because I use vinyl instead of computers". My response is A) you're still not playing an instrument b) it doesn't effing matter - do you enjoy what you do? Do others? GREAT!. I hear the same thing from guys that play in punk bands - they look down on electronic musicians because they "don't play real instruments". Dude, you're whole musical movement was based on getting completely AWAY from the virtuosity of hard rock, and you can't play a decent solo to save your life. However, it doesn't effing matter. Just enjoy your art, and let others enjoy theirs. Your art is no better.

    By contrast, my friends that are comfortable with their musical abilities tend to be much more open minded about other forms of music creation. A guy that plays metal has no problem jamming with a jazz musician, or an electronic one. They just want to play anything they can get their hands on.
    I never met an ''artist'' who had to describe his art in terms of what pencil he draws with or the brand of paint or brushes. Photographers on the other hand are "craft" oriented and the detail is in the materials.
    Greg Lockrey

    Wealth is a state of mind.
    Money is just a tool.
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  2. #32

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    Re: Why do you shoot Black and White over Color?

    For me, the world of photography is a black and white one.

    But I still love color.

    I always liked Irving Penn's pix taken of native tribes in Africa. Printed and reproduced everywhere in black and white.

    Then I ran across a Vogue magazine, 1970ish, and saw them as they were first published -- in color. And wow, those photos sang in a beautiful new way.

    I devote a chapter to the subject of black and white v. color in my book.

    Question: How many of you have had someone look at one of your black and white photographs and remarked, "Too bad it's not in color!"

  3. #33
    Greg Lockrey's Avatar
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    Re: Why do you shoot Black and White over Color?

    Quote Originally Posted by William McEwen View Post

    Question: How many of you have had someone look at one of your black and white photographs and remarked, "Too bad it's not in color!"
    That's because they are idiots!
    Greg Lockrey

    Wealth is a state of mind.
    Money is just a tool.
    Happiness is pedaling +25mph on a smooth road.



  4. #34

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    Re: Why do you shoot Black and White over Color?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Lockrey View Post
    That's because they are idiots!
    Are you calling my twin sister an idiot?

  5. #35
    Greg Lockrey's Avatar
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    Re: Why do you shoot Black and White over Color?

    Quote Originally Posted by William McEwen View Post
    Are you calling my twin sister an idiot?
    only if I can take her in a fight....
    Greg Lockrey

    Wealth is a state of mind.
    Money is just a tool.
    Happiness is pedaling +25mph on a smooth road.



  6. #36

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    Re: Why do you shoot Black and White over Color?

    In 1987 or so I photographed a woman named Vicki. I used a Rolleiflex (sorry!) and shot on Tri-X.

    A few days later I gave her a contact sheet and said let me know if you want any prints.

    She told me she'd talk to her mom, and she'd want the prints to be in color.

    I gave her the bad news that there's no way to get color prints from black and white negs.

    A few days later Vicki told me, negs 3, 5, 7, (or whatever) and that she wanted them in color.

    I said, "Vicki, there's no way to get color prints from black and white negs."

    She said, "I KNOW you said that, but my mom said you was wrong."

    (Forgive me if I've already told you that story, and for you hand-coloring folks, forgive me for my stance.)

  7. #37

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    Re: Why do you shoot Black and White over Color?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Lockrey View Post
    only if I can take her in a fight....
    She's a lovely woman and you'd change your mind if you met her.

  8. #38
    Greg Lockrey's Avatar
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    Re: Why do you shoot Black and White over Color?

    Quote Originally Posted by William McEwen View Post
    She's a lovely woman and you'd change your mind if you met her.
    I'm looking....
    Greg Lockrey

    Wealth is a state of mind.
    Money is just a tool.
    Happiness is pedaling +25mph on a smooth road.



  9. #39

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    Re: Why do you shoot Black and White over Color?

    Greg Lockrey: "Art is about inflaming.... Illustration is about recording....

    What Brian said...."

    Brian Ellis: "Color tells us what things look like. B&W tells us what they felt like (I have no idea if that's true but it sounds good to me)"

    Thanks Greg for the reply. From my experience this is a fairly widespread belief. However, I still take some issue with it. No photograph is actually what something 'looks like.' While color may be closer to what we expect from "reality" I believe it is just a better disguised departure from reality. However, I will not argue that B&W is 'more' of a departure from reality than color.
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  10. #40

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    Re: Why do you shoot Black and White over Color?

    Greg Lockrey: "I never met an ''artist'' who had to describe his art in terms of what pencil he draws with or the brand of paint or brushes. Photographers on the other hand are "craft" oriented and the detail is in the materials."

    I totally agree that this is the case, and see it as a problem. When displaying my photographs I have no interest in describing my process, materials, or technique. However, that is what a lot of viewers want to know....especially those with DSLR's around their neck. It should be all about the works subject matter....but in photography there are often other distractions.
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