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  #1  
Old 4th June 2009, 08:47 PM
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vincent vincent is offline
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Default Why Still Use Mono ?

We don't see in monochrome. Colour is easy to produce. We don't watch B&W TV so why are we still using mono? Is it not false, unreal and lacking in truth. Are we just BOF's unable to accept the world of colour.
I've to give a talk to the club about my B&W work and I expect these are some of the questions I'll have to face from a mainly digital audience.
All answers and opinions gratefully received.

Cheers
vincent
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  #2  
Old 4th June 2009, 11:56 PM
Mike O'Pray Mike O'Pray is offline
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Vincent I'd make reference to Hollywood's choice in the 1950s and early 1960s as to which it chose. In areas where the story and characters were key B&W was the choice e.g. High Noon where technicolour was possible but would have been a distraction. "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" was another example. This time 10 years later when the cost of colour v B&W was unlikely to have been a consideration

Then there were the drama documentary films. "On the Waterfront and Twelve Angry Men" spring to mind as well as one of the greatest black comedies " Dr Strangelove".

Moving into the more modern era, "Raging Bull" and "Good Night and Good Luck" spring to mind.

The link is that B&W in these films enhance the storyline which concerns the people interaction. You need to see and be allowed to concetrate on the interaction of people which B&W enhances.

Here's an acid test. Ask the audience to imagine "L.A. Confidential" in B&W and see if anyone can think of any part in which colour helped the story.

Better still invite those in the audience who have seen it on TV in colour to watch it again in B&W( I think it is still possible to remove colour on TV sets) when it re-appears as it most certainly will and decide which is better.

B&W allows a concentration on the object and what is actually happening. You remain wedded to the whole actual event before you and not the constituent parts which compete for attention in colour.

I'll concede ground in pure flora and fauna scenes which are static but even in most animal scenes there's action. The lioness is about to bring down the impala. What do you see? The colours of the two animals? No its the lioness' sinews as it stretches out for the impala's back and the look on both animals faces as both know the end is near. B&W allows this emotional connection to surface which colour tend to suppress.

Best of luck. The very fact you've been asked to speak suggests that at least some of the audience harbours doubts about the supremacy of colour.

Mike
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Old 5th June 2009, 09:40 AM
Dave miller Dave miller is offline
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In simple terms; I don't do reality, that would be too boring.
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Old 5th June 2009, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vincent View Post
We don't watch B&W TV
Yes I agree that colour does not add much to most images (colour is flagged as a spelling error) and B+W can be done in the (red) light. And it's more stable, cheaper, easier to change contrast, dodge and burn. Assuming it's wet silver we are doing.


I tried to get a 12" B+W set for the kitchen, figuring that way I would select the programmes that where worth watching rather than eye candy. I had to get a 14" LCD colour freeview digital super thingy, and have turned off the colour, (still need a colour license!) hardly ever watch it, the strategy worked.
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Old 5th June 2009, 01:53 PM
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Mono equals a total creative expeirence for me. The mono negative is just the start as there are so many creative ways from there to make the print you desire. I can't remember being able to do that in colour :-)

Best of luck with your talk!

Neil.
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Old 5th June 2009, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vincent View Post
We don't see in monochrome. Colour is easy to produce. We don't watch B&W TV so why are we still using mono? Is it not false, unreal and lacking in truth. Are we just BOF's unable to accept the world of colour.
I've to give a talk to the club about my B&W work and I expect these are some of the questions I'll have to face from a mainly digital audience.
All answers and opinions gratefully received.

Cheers
vincent
'False, unreal and lacking in truth'? - sounds just like colour TV to me!.

Serously, I believe the romoval of colour forces the mind to think more about the image.

Rob
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Old 5th June 2009, 06:47 PM
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Sandeha Lynch Sandeha Lynch is offline
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I guess it's OK to say this when among friends ... but I think I do see in black and white.

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Old 5th June 2009, 10:39 PM
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Removing colour from the equation (my spell-checker is happy with the spelling - you must have yours set to US English, Alfie) allows the eye to concentrate on texture and light & shade. Colour over-stimulates the eye and screams LOOK AT ME!

This is fine where colour is the main focus of the image such as the iridescent colour of a hummingbird's plumage but it is no coincidence that many of the best colour images have a restricted colour palate - taken at dawn or sunset for example.

Besides, I am of the considered opinion that reality is often muchly overrated...
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Old 6th June 2009, 04:29 PM
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Thank you very much "faduers" for your responses , I do of course agree with everything you have said. But I would have to admit to Leon that I googled "Descartes" thinking that he might be a temperamental player for Chelsea. Boy was I wrong, this man is serious stuff. I have saved one of the sites for further reading.
My own take on B&W versus Colour is you look at the subject in B&W whereas you look at the colour in the other.
But still I wonder if when photography was discovered the results were in colour, would we be using B&W today? There are after all few if any examples of B&W paintings in the art world.

Thanks again everyone
Cheers
vincent
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  #10  
Old 6th June 2009, 04:41 PM
Dave miller Dave miller is offline
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Given that the ability to take colour photographs has been available for a 100 years in the Autochrome process the choice was always there but shunned.
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