Naked colours are monochrome

I knew what I wanted to write about. But not a clue of how or what to say about it. I have a strange tendency to flow hi-lo and everywhere all over the place when I begin to think, and try to write about what I think.

Not everyone likes monochrome photography, some actually think it’s boring. I often think the opposite. But it’s not that easy stereotypical just like that. Sometimes colours actually are very capable of creating touching strong feelings beyond the ordinary reality show. But more often monochrome is far more effective in doing it with a punch, in my opinion.

We take colours for granted in our lives and maybe that’s one reason behind the impact of monochrome. When you take away the colours it’s like peeling of the surface and see behind the scene and beyond the ordinary. You take away one dimension to se another. Our brains will fill in the missing dimension (of colours) and starts a process of extended imagination whether we want it or not.

When the colours are gone our head gets kind of hacked and challenge our awareness. A monochrome photography either less or more smooth out, strengthen, transform or hide a lot of the shades that is defined by colours, changes focus and changes the information.

This effect is of course possible to achieve with colour and can be just as effective as monochrome to create strong emotions. But much harder in my opinion to achieve with the same pure impact as monochrome, and much harder to use and control (well, this is of course a matter of practicing technical and artistic skill).

Colours often interfere with our subconscious layers and get stuck on the surface. The monochrome language is more straightforward and able to penetrate and reach much deeper behind those layers. But actually I think like this; colours have another language.

Monochrome have a lot of nice benefits that I like besides this. It offers freedom, because you don’t have to think about the colours. This makes the process a whole lot more simplified and more focused on the photography itself. No need to take count of anything that have to do about the appearance of colours and how they interacting. And eventually noise looks much better in black and white. Sometimes even better with noise (something I want to explore more in the future).

But monochrome will not by automatic become exciting imaginary extensions of reality just because of that. Black and white has its own demanding challenges to conquer with satisfaction when it comes to both shooting and the post processing. So don’t believe it makes your photos cool by itself.

Still working on it, to find my personal taste in favour what I want to achieve, as kind of personal style. I’m not sure, but I may have decoded some clues of what I want and how to achieve it. Much left to learn and think about. Not at least about myself.

When it comes to post processing I have been using Snapseed and iPad for the last years (with my Fuji X100T for about two months now when writing this) and I have no plans to change the tools. And I don’t bother the benefits of raw either. I do it very simple, and like it that way. A more powerful computer and Lightroom is of course an appealing thought but not really anything I feel that I need to achieve satisfaction right now.

I prefer shooting monochrome straight from the camera. The simple reason is because It forces myself to think in black and white from the beginning. Knowing that I can’t regret my choice and can never be in colour once I have decided to push the trigger.

Also, the LCD and EVF in monochrome mode is a very good help to see and think in black and white, to define contrasts, shapes and structures without distractions of colours involved. It helps me to more quickly visualise my thinking when I searching, or reacting, for where the “klick” is.

But lately I have found out, that even if the camera produce excellent black and white from the beginning. Shooting in colour have some benefits when it comes to post processing, giving some extended opportunities to tweak how colours can be transformed into monochrome. At the same time I like the straightforward way of shooting black and white instantly. I’ll se how to do about that.



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