Black and White VS Colour Photography

My tutor suggested that I needed to consider why I made my images in colour or black and white. I feel that I possibly haven’t described my knowledge of the difference between the two when submitting my assignment images. I have simply produced black and white images without really saying why I chose monochrome over colour. I did a great deal of research into black and white photography in my previous module; Digital Photographic Practice, and you will find this here. I took into consideration specifically the type of scene or subject that works best in monochrome, and have since been shooting with the finished outcome of either colour or black and white in mind. My work throughout this module has been no different, and I have constantly pre-visualised when shooting whether an image was best for monochrome conversion or for colour. The vibrancy of colour versus the simplicity of black and white is a battle that is always raging in my work! The simplicity of monochrome generally wins, and thus a lot of my portraits get converted to black and white. This strips away distraction, and concentrates the viewer solely on the subject. However, as explained in my previous research, this would not be appropriate for all portraits, as Steve McCurry’s Afghan girl simply would not be the same without the rich greens and oranges running throughout. The girl’s large green eyes are the focus of this shot, and to take them away would be to remove key information from the image.

Therefore to conclude, I am aware of the advantages and disadvantages of both colour and black and white photography. I always take into consideration the shape, lighting, texture, and subject before deciding if an image is appropriate for conversion.

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Portrait Photography

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Assignment Five- Client Brief

I am enclosing here the client brief which I followed closely for assignment five. I have recently completed both potential photo-shoots, including the new-born shoot and the children’s photo shoot. Upon close reflection, I decided that the new-born selection was the strongest, and so I chose this for my final assignment. Below you will find the form which I provided my client with prior to the shoot, in order to gain some basic knowledge on the family, their home and of course, the brief the client would like me to adhere to. I felt that this form was important, as most clients don’t know what they want until you lay all the options out simply. With these basic questions it provided the mother with easily answered questions to help her form in her mind what she wanted. See below for the full form, along with the answers I was given.

Thank-you very much for choosing Hans Photography for your photo shoot. I have a few questions I would like you to answer in order for me to centre the photo shoot around your needs and personal requirements.

Name of Mother: Delene Shannon

Name of Father: Eric Shannon

Name and age of children/child as on day of shoot: Adam Shannon, 11 days old

Would you like any other family members to be included in the shoot? No

Where would you like the photo shoot to be held? Our home

Can you describe the type of images that you would like? i.e.- classic white background/ relaxed images around your home with no background? A mixture of the two would be lovely. We like the idea of relaxed photos, as well as the white background ones for framing.

Do you have any special toys or props that you would like included in the shoot? No.

Are there any other specific shots that you have in mind that you would like me to capture? We have seen shots of a friend’s baby of just her two little feet in a picture, which we think looks very special! So we would like this please!

I perform basic edits on each image to improve small elements such as lighting. Is this acceptable, and do you have any further requests in this area? Yes this is acceptable. No further requests.

Does your child have any allergies or reactions? No

Do you have any other special requirements that you would like me to take note of? No

Client Signiture

________________

Assignment Three Prints

My tutor suggested that I get some prints of my images from assignment three. I haven’t had much experience with this in the past, and so I felt a little out of my depth. I had previously gone to a local shop to get some prints done for an earlier assessment. However, upon collecting the prints, I noticed that they had a really noticeable colour cast. Therefore, I decided to try a professional printing company for these assignment prints. The results were very pleasing. I ordered a selection of both gloss and matte finish, as well as a variety of A4 sized and 8″ x 6″ prints. This provided me with a large amount of varying images to compare and contrast.

Firstly, I noticed that I felt that the best print finish was the matte finish. This prevents any unwanted reflections from obstructing the print, and distracting from the image. I have read that the matte finish is the best finish for monochrome images, as black and white photography is based on light and dark values, therefore matte frames keep outside light from ruining the composition. The matte versions appeared more muted, less flashy, and contained a professionalism that the glossy images do not have.

I did note that perhaps if the images had been in colour, my feelings would have been different. This is due to the sharp qualities that a gloss finish contains; thus bringing out the vibrancy of colour. However, the problems with image glare would still have persisted, and so therefore I think that matte would still have been my preference.

I further noted that when handling the prints, it was much easier to handle the matte finish without worrying about causing damage to the image. The stickiness of the gloss finish resulted in fingerprints and dust catching the print. This makes it more difficult to preserve the print over a long period of time. Matte prints are not sticky at all, and so don’t attract such problems. This is a further benefit that I noted with the matte finish.

In regards to the size of the images, I feel that the large A4 size was the best. The 8″ x 6″ prints were a strange size which were not pleasing to look at, and didn’t seem to balance out very well. The A4 size is a good large-sized image, that clearly shows each aspect of the image well. The A4 print was unfortunately finished with gloss, but would definitely have been the strongest print of the set if finished in matte. The image glare on the gloss finish was worsened with the larger print which seemed to act as a large reflector to catch even more unwanted light than the smaller versions. This further cemented my preference for a matte finish.

 

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Andreas Gursky

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Martin Parr

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