Black and White or Colour? Your choice…

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I was going through a hard drive of old images when I came across a black and white that I had processed in 2012.

Every fall for the last few years I have made the trip out to the mountains to catch the autumn colours. Sometimes I head to the ice fields parkway and then take my time driving back on the David Thomson, aka Hwy 11 past Abraham Lake and then back to Edmonton.

When came upon the processed black and white I immediately saw that there were a few things that I wanted to change from the way that I originally edited the image in 2012.

The great thing about black and white photography is that there is I believe greater artistic license to lighten, darken and otherwise change the picture from what is originally presented. For some reason our brains are much more forgiving  when we exercise “the hand of God” when burning down corners, etc.

After a few minutes of playing with the original I thought that it would make a good subject to blog about. The idea was going to be about how sometimes what doesn’t work in colour works very well as a black and white.

With that idea in mind I went to one of my backup hard drives to find the RAW colour image and present the two as a comparison.

A funny thing happened. With six more years under my belt and six years of progressively seeing differently the colour image looked like it had some potential in colour so with that in mind I started to play with it in Photoshop with no idea in mind other than to adjust the tones and colours and see the result.

The more I fiddled and played with the RAW image the more I started to see potential in a colour version. After ten minutes I finished with the colour and now I am having a tough time deciding which one do I prefer? I don’t know.

Nordegg, Abraham Lake, Hwy 11, dawn, autumn, landscape, highway, lenticular clouds, Dan Jurak, landscape,

That is the beauty of shooting for yourself. There are no rights and no wrongs. You do what moves you.

Colour? Black and white? Take your pick.

There are infinite possibilities on processing and visualizing your images. Take advantage of that. You will not be sorry.

Happy shooting,


~ by Dan Jurak on March 2, 2018.

6 Responses to “Black and White or Colour? Your choice…”

  1. as you say… there is no right or wrong. it all depends on the story that one wants to tell with an image

    personally, i like (relate to) the B&W version. the “hero” of the colour version is the sky, while in the B&W one, road (esp the processing that you’ve done on it that makes it jump out, esp wrt the surrounding forest) makes it a much more important component in the story

  2. You might be right. I am leaning very slightly towards the black and white.

    Ready for the giant dump of snow tonight? 🙂

  3. The processing is a subjective decision as is the viewing
    For me on any given day my mood my/will be different as discussed in your post – great idea to explore our past work. I know my decision for B&W or colour would be different as will the processing itself

    Re: my long reply – can you tell I have retired !

  4. Congratulations on the retirement! This is what we work all of our lives for. Enjoy it to the fullest!

  5. On this one I will take the colour. Just my preference for today only

  6. Thank you Grant. There is no right or wrong answer. Whichever one works best for you.

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