I had a conversation with a friend one time and we were talking about this question – “How do you know when to turn a picture black and white?”
I thought to myself and replied, “Good question! How do you know?”
Something as simple as that stumped me, but as we were talking, my friend learned the answer from another friend and it was as simple as this – “You turn the photo black and white with the most emotion or depth of feeling.”
It was profound so I had to test for myself. Check out the following picture:
One can say that the emotions communicated from this picture could be ‘Joy,’ ‘Excitement, ‘Cheer’ and many others.
Now take a look at the same photo in black and white:
Don’t you think those emotions come through in a clearer way? It does to me. The emotion in the black and white photo just seems more accented and highlighted. Turning this photo black and white in particular certainly did deepen the “depth of feeling.” Why do you think? I think the reason is this:
The processing of information by our brains is competitive. This is true because we tend to prioritize information in our subconscious. So when our brains process the emotion communicated by a picture, it is in direct competition with everything else it is processing at the same time including the color from a picture. A black and white photo simply gives you less colors and therefore ‘less competition’ and allows for the emotion to win over. I believe that is why black and white photos gives us the nostalgic feelings they do because the emotions come through in a stronger way and we relate to that emotion.
Agree or disagree? Try it for yourself.
Keywords: Phoenix Wedding Photographers Photography Tips and Tricks