Color vs Monochrome

All photographs by Prabhat

Despite the fact that it is solely a matter of choice, color vs monochrome is one much debated subject in photography even today. Everyone has logic in favor of his/ her choice. You may come across a logic that monochrome gives the feeling of nostalgia or it’s classy and color does not give this satisfaction of viewing a photographs.

That colors in photographs distracts attention from the subject, sometimes. Those in favor of color will remind if only black and white colors were suitable, nature would have no other color. Even before advent of photography artists were inventing colors to use in their paintings. Painting in Ajanta caves are one more suitable example, etc, etc.
In an IPA blog post Raghubir Singh was quoted via his interview with Time Magazine, saying “To see India monochromatically, is to miss it altogether.” Raghubir elaborates further “The true Indian artist cannot ignore the blessing of color that is written into the Indian idea of darshan which we know since childhood. This idea is a way of seeing that encompasses the sensuality of touch and feel, human contact and intimacy. Black does not fit into the idea of darshan.”

Art Director and visual effects expert Francois-Steininger, who worked on coloring of many films of historical importance, says, “This history happened in color and the people who filmed it saw it in color. Because they didn’t have a color camera at that time, they couldn’t print it in color. We are just bringing color back to history.”

I’ve shot black and white pictures for years in the beginning of my career as photojournalist because the newspapers were able to print only monochrome images. It was black and while film rolls that I’d learned to develop and print myself and relied on photo labs for developing of my color negative and transparency films. But my vote was for color photographs. I know from my experience that classicism is not related with monochrome, otherwise there was not need of hand coloring monochrome pictures which you may find in your family albums.

The post is not to judge the best as I said in the beginning, it’s a matter of choice.
Hope you guys would let me know your choice!


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