Flower Photography: Can Beauty Still Exist Without Its Original Color?

photography, flowers, flora, fleur, black and white, color, dark, orchids, San Francisco, Pacific Orchid Expo, Fort Mason

Question: Can beauty still exist with the extraction of color? – K’lee L.

Here then is the second posting coming from the fantastic Pacific Orchid Expo I checked out this past weekend. I posed the question in a previous post: Can beauty still exist in the absence of (its original) color? Taken further, I would ask, can the increased shadow and light contours feed our brains and eyes the same way an infusion of color would?

I can only answer these questions for myself and my answer to both is a resounding yes! It’s different, the removal of color, but I find myself still enjoying the look of the flowers, the light factor, the shadows. To my eye and brain this composition works and isn’t necessarily better than a composition built on an explosion of color, it’s just different. It forces me to use my imagination; to suppose and define for myself what could be or should be.

I’ve heard from one of our great artists on the WP, Eva on the topic of color and its removal as definitions of beauty in my last post. I look forward to her response to this piece as I do yours, but only if you want to share!

K’lee L. © 2015

15 thoughts on “Flower Photography: Can Beauty Still Exist Without Its Original Color?

    1. Ahhh, now if I could just get you to expand on your meaning! I’d like to know what is your version of ‘different’ when it comes to black and white photos vs. color?
      I mean, for me it really comes down to what colors make us feel on a certain level. Different colors evoke different feelings for different people for different reasons. Not to say black and white photography can’t do the same. For me black and white photos tend to feel more serious, somber, reserved, forboding, spooky… things of that nature… I’ve yet to get those impressions from bright, vibrant colors. Thank you for answering this question!


      1. I agree about “somber”, “spooky”. And with black and white photos one’s attention is on the composition and details: how the petals are arranged, the person’s gestures. The eyes are not distracted by the colors.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks again for your earlier comment and for this one.
          Those are great points, Edgar! You’re right when saying, ‘one’s attention is on the composition and details…’ in black and white photography and while color is ‘beautiful’, it can distract from those two elements subtly or immensely. One of my goals these days is fining ways to both shoot and post-process so certain color photos I take speak more to the details, the composition, the activity happening and the ‘mood’ of the shot, Time will tell if I succeed!


    1. Ah, thank you sooo much! While I admitted earlier in the week to not doing too much black and white, it is for those subtle reasons I find myself wanting to explore it more often. I’m now trying to work with a color flower photo to introduce shadings. I know whatever I do will never recreate what happens automatically in black and white shots (with the right lighting, f course!), but I’m interested to see what will come from the experiment. It’ll get posted right here on the Obzervashunal.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Phenomenal answer! It’s as though the switch from color to black and white instantly transforms it to a somber, muted (sometimes) feel. Beautiful? Yes, I agree with you it still is, but …


  1. Wonderful image and yes it is beautiful! Shadow and light play a key role if you go B&W or any monochromatic value for that matter! Perception is something very personal, some of us like to see the world more in color and there are others who appreciate beauty on a different spectrum! A very personal choice for the photographers just as a very personal choice for the viewers. Opinions will collide and arguments will continue but no rules will rule. I like to be on both sides and that always depends on my mood! Maybe you could check out my other blog where I post photography and see my versions of “colorless” or “mixed” flower shots. http://www.marksfashionbyevamarks.wordpress.com and let me know what you think about my visions of beautiful ” at any color. Great post, love how you get us all involved and make us think!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Once again Eva, I can’t thank you enough and yes, I will head to your photo blog to check out your work there! Very interested to see it.
      You’re right in saying, ‘opinions will collide… but no rules will rule’ That’s what I call ‘hitting the nail on the head’.
      Thanks again for lending your time and voice to this topic. It means a lot to me.

      Liked by 1 person

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