A photographic fork in the road

“When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in black and white, you photograph their souls!”

That’s a pretty strong endorsement of black and white photography; it comes from Ted Grant, one of the giants of photojournalism whose career spans over 60 years.

Color photography is more realistic; the world we live in is made up of many colors, not just black, white and shades of gray. Black and white images seem to be more focused, more intense thanks to the absence of color. They seem to go deeper into the subject , cutting to the heart of the matter, to the essence of the subject.

So what do we as photographers do? Do we opt for more reality by choosing to work in color? Or do we commit to the more austere yet intense world of black and white imagery? Do we burrow deeper into our subjects with black and white in pursuit of a more insightful and thoughtful body of work? Or do we embrace the it is what it is approach of color photography?

I am still deliberating on that one.

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