Monochrome / Black & White

Image of Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico by Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams represents a benchmark for most photographers. He was a master photographer based in the Yosemite Valley in the USA. He did shoot occasionally in colour, however he is most remembered for his spectacular black and white landscape images. The most famous of these is Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico.

There are some quite old fashioned ideas about the use of black and white. Some people still believe that for documentary photography to have legitimacy, it must be in Black and White. However, this is very much based on traditions of press photography, where photographers had no choice but to use black and white, as that was what the newspapers printed, until the first colour newspaper, Today, started publishing in 1986.

Using black and white is now an aesthetic choice for the photographer. Some cameras allow black and white jpg images to be shot in camera, however if RAW images are being used, the black and white will be stripped when the images are imported where the choice between black and white or colour ultimately becomes a post-production choice.

Do you think the images below are better in Black and White or in Colour?

Comparison Black and White to Colour Photograph
Comparison Black and White to Colour Photograph