What does colour add?

October 30, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

The recent mist and fog has heralded in the winter in Kinsale and had a feel of pirates, smugglers and shipwrecks . It reminded me of some work that I printed a while back and how thinking in black and white can be a challenge for photographers. The image is that of the MV Plassey, lost in 1960 on the smallest Aran Island, Inis Oirr (Inisheer). There is a great account of the event here.

I shot this one on a Burren, Cliffs and Isles tour (2015 dates to be announced soon); and spent quite some time walking the area, watching the light and clouds and eventually settled on this composition. It appealed to me because of the rockpool and the reflection of the stern, the dramatic lines and atmosphere in the sky. The image 'felt' black and white to me. 

In trying to work out if an image would work better in monochrome, there are a couple of things that can help. The first is to simply as of your composition 'what does colour add?' In this case the rusting hulk of the wreck is quite nice, as are the rocks that have become rust-stained. But it is a more powerful, graphic image in black and white.

Here is the original image, for me the black and white wins, hands down. Add your comment below...

 


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