Most of the pictures I have taken over the last months, or more correct, the last year are in B&W. And people constantly ask me why is that. And why I don’t like colour.

Truth be told, I do like colour but I don’t know how to take good pictures in colour (or properly post process them). Simple as that. Okay, maybe not that simple, there is a bit more to it than this.

Most of my work are portrait shots and I just feel that emotions and character of a person stand out way more in black and white. If you don’t believe me,  give it a try, take a nice portrait and then just desaturate it, add a bit of contrast, adjust the keys and lows and look at the same picture again. It changed quite a bit, didn’t it? It has a complete new mood, new feel to it. And this is what I’m going for. This focus on the eyes and their face. Something that will give you a hard time when you are shooting in colour.

Another reason is, b&w puts a nice emphasize on textures, shapes and forms. With colour this is not quite the same, there mainly the colours and their mix dominating your scene. In b&w not so. You can throw together things that usually don’t go well with each other, but you get away with it because nobody sees the colours.

Now there are a few other reasons, that are even a bit more specific and important for the other part of my work. I shoot a lot of available light in the streets, in the evening, at night, in the subway, stores, bars, restaurants.

In those places you deal with two things, the lack of light and thus high Iso and the type of light (hot lights). Black and White lets you get away with pushing your Iso quite a bit, it sometimes even gives you something like grain (the stuff from the film days). Also your picture will still look good if it is a bit shaky or slightly out of focus, it just feels okay with b&w, it does not with colour. Again, I’m shooting some tiny equip that is either not exactly designed for high Iso or is a bit older and just doesn’t have the Iso performance you expect these days. (Though on prints this is not a big problem, but I’ll write about that another day)

Remember, I’m shooting in an ambient with hot lights and we know that none of them is going to be the same colour temperature as the other. I don’t have to bother too much with the white balance. Again, no colour, thus I don’t have to balance anything. And trust me, with more then two light sources you will get some ugly light colours.

All those reasons and this idea of nostalgia is the reason why I’m lately so crazy about black and white…