Color and Non-Color Photographic Comparison: An Experimental Endgame

black and white photography, photographic comparisons, tigers, flowers, orchids, boats, marina, San Francisco,  sunrise, clouds

After a back and forth of color and monochromatic images a comparison is in order!
– K’lee L.

In the past week or so I’ve posted a series of both color and black and white photos, hoping to show a few of the differences between the two. My main question to any and all who stumble across these posts was can beauty still be considered beauty when color is removed?

I’ve not presented real side by side comparisons to assist in finding the answer… until now.

Above, you’ll find three color vs. black and white comparison of three individual photos. What’s your take? Do the color shots stand out more or does the dramatic light and shadows of the black and white pieces rise to the top of the photo stack?

I may have to do a few more of these before I can answer my own question!

K’lee L. © 2015

12 thoughts on “Color and Non-Color Photographic Comparison: An Experimental Endgame

  1. Simple or not it depends who see them. Humans do not perceive colour in the same way and this can impact their choices in photography as well, for example, in clothing. I’m not talking about color blind people but humans in general. In other hand not all photos fit the achromatic, or not so directly but with a good editing, the marina photo above being an example. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Joaquim and thanks for this fantastic answer! You are right; it’s an extremely rare event when two humans have an identical perception of the same subject, even more so when it relates to art or color. I also like your mention of the transference of a typical color photo to a monochromatic filtering. You are right again to point out not all subjects lend themselves well to this.
      Very nicely said!

      Liked by 1 person

          1. hummm, because I tried to open as an outsider and it worked. Meanwhile I sent an email to a few friends to check if they have the same problem before investigating with wordpress. Thank you so much K’Lee!

            Liked by 1 person

  2. I think the black and white landscape is really effective. The tigers look like movie stills–color for the present, and the black and white, from the 1940’s. I never thought about the time effect of color in photos before, but in this case I think it fits. (and I still like the flower better in color).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, memadtwo for a great response! I like your relating the tigers to movie stills; color as present time and black and white representing the ’40s. I definitely can see it, having watched enough movies from the era. As for the flower, yes, there’s something about flowers and color, right? I don’t suppose the end of Winter and the coming of Spring has the power to heighten our sensitivity to both light and color? Thanks again for your answer!


  3. In this picture that you are showing in this post the photo in black and white strip the beauty of the photographed objects. But I have seen many pictures in black and white which have a special charm. For example, pictures of couples (man and woman – lovers or married) together, holding hands or hugging or kissing. I do not know if I’m right in my considerations. It’s just a personal view.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Tania for your answer! Yes, I can see what you mean, the change to black and white especially with the color version right next to them, can make it seem faded or as if their ‘natural beauty’ has been taken away. I also agree that photos showing love, or lovers expressing affection -especially in simple, universally understood ways like, as you said with a kiss or holding hands can be very powerful in black in white! We see and immediately understand not primarily from a visual perspective, but a ‘heart-centered’ perspective is my belief. The emotional impact hits us first, visually second!


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