Absence of colors

I love black & white photos.  And if you want to know why, you wouldn’t hear the end of it.

Cebu City

For some photographers, they may find this as a trick to add visual aspect to photos that need too much editing or changing “not-so-good-kind-of-shots” into artistic ones, but still – it works!  And that’s the beauty of it!

But before you set your camera settings into black & white forever, take note that this is NOT applicable at all times.  Trust me, I did this one time when my colleagues and I went on a vacation.  All the photos I took were in black & white and I just realized that some photos could have been perfect if they were taken in normal mode.  Because of that experience, I learned that it would be best to take your photos in normal mode all the time.  Transforming your photos to black & white should be done during the post-processing stage.  Why?  That’s because you can always convert your colored photos to black & white but you can never reconstruct your black & white photos to colored.  Unless you are shooting in RAW format because shooting in black & white mode using RAW format would still give you the color information of the picture.


It took me a while to embrace color.  I seriously had the “black & white syndrome”.  When I’m not satisfied with the first few shots during a photoshoot, I would change my settings to black & white.  I was that lazy to find the proper mix for shutter speed, aperture and ISO that all I wanted was instant gratification each time I looked at the LCD screen.  But then again I realized that I needed color when I started editing and compiling my photos.


I noticed that some photographers still include black & white shots for variety but it would only be at a ratio of 1:10 or 1:15.  As a general guide this is a great rule to follow unless your client specifically requires to have more black & white shots.

We may all have different views about this technique but in most cases people find it generally appealing.  May it be a picture of a skyline or a portrait of an old man or even a street full of people, black & white photos gives me a sense of balance.  It is a way of showing reality to the world through the absence of colors.


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