Often our lives are made more difficult by greater choice. In photography, the choice of color vs. monochrome was not necessarily easier in the past, but at least it had to be made by the time film was in the camera. With digital capture, you can change your mind at any time. Some photographers, as far as I can tell, use only color; a far smaller number are all about black and white. Some, like myself, dither. Not to complain, but this is a constant issue in ways it wouldn’t have been before. Reminded of it by both the previous post and recent experience, I here present the latest dithers. Prepare yourself: I’ll be asking for opinions…


The above image is part of my Cottonwood series (though not (yet?) among the few image on my web site), but it’s also part of an ongoing interest in birds (probably to be christened a project soon) and skies (likewise). Perhaps it’s those multiple roles that cause me to hesitate on the color question. For skies, it may be best as above, but for cottonwoods or birds I prefer the “monochrome” (actually slightly tinted) version below. The irreality of B&W makes it, to my mind, more mysterious and intriguing. Without the attraction/ distraction of color, perhaps one notices the birds sooner, and perhaps even the similar shapes of the outspread wings and the light area of the sky.


I worked that image just today, though it dates from a couple weeks ago. A more recent capture is yesterday’s rock face:


With this image, I think I prefer color. Perhaps it’s because the basic image is already rather abstract, and hence has no need of removing color to make it less real. Though as far as that goes, the color version is unrealistically saturated; the rocks are suggestive, but not that colorful.

I’ll have more to say about the rock image–from a slightly different perspective–in a day or two. Meanwhile, I’m curious about your own reactions to color/no color in the instances presented. Is your preference fairly general, or dependent on the particular image? Does the choice of one or the other seem to have any clear meaning or association for you?