Photo: Black&White vs Color

Please let me know in the comments which version you prefer!

I recently posted a photo from under Balboa Pier in Orange County.


A reader commented that this photo may look better in B&W, so I spent a few minutes converting it.


I like the outcome! Curious what other readers think. So make sure you leave a comment!

Thank you.


43 thoughts on “Photo: Black&White vs Color

  1. I agree that I like the black and white better. The multiple colors detract and pull your eyes in to many directions. The muted tones of the water and sand int the black and white really pull the eye into photo and particularly the details of the pier.

  2. B&w works much better in a ‘busy’ image and in some ways seems to draw the eye in better here. And thank you for stopping by my blog

  3. I like the black and white better.

    If i see a composition and I can’t decide I want to shoot in either black and white or color I will shoot both (often shooting multiple shots in black and white until I get the darkness/lightness I would like) instead of doing switching it to black and white in post production.

    • I noticed that you have more flexibility with manipulating your B&W shots if you convert in during post-processing as you can modify the colors before they’re converted. Try it in Lightroom or your favorite PP software!

    • I was considering it but didn’t have my tripod available to take multiple exposures without moving my camera. But I imagine I’d lost a lot of contrast and the image may look washed out and/or bland in HDR B&W. Or not, I haven’t seen any before!

  4. You know, usually I prefer B&W as it makes you focus on form and composition more but I must say that the darker blue-green of the water in the center really pulls your eye in and you definitely don’t get that with the B&W which appears flatter to my eye. Great pics. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I like the b/w-it really pulls you into the photo and the image takes on more of an abstract feel–especially the bracing-there is a kind of “telescoping” feel as you look through the center-I hope that makes sense-very nice!

  6. I love the color of the sea in your first photo, so that is very appealing, but I agree that overall the contrast in the B/W is more compelling somehow. I frequently debate about whether to convert to B/W because it’s hard to sacrifice an especially pretty color, but sometimes — as in this case — it’s worth it! Thanks for stopping by our blog and the Like for some of our pics. It’s great to have the encouragement for blogging!

    • Some photos just naturally scream “make me B&W” but this one didn’t stand out so much for me. I liked the browns in this photo but the blues are nice as well! It’s always fun to give and receive encouragement 😉

  7. You know, I’m always undecided about color vs. black and white. I take pictures of pavement, of all things (thanks for the comment by the way) using very simple modifications, either using I-photo or Snapseed on my I-phone. In either case, I always try the black and white, but for me so much is lost when I go to Black and White. There are so many more nuances with color. Perhaps B and W is best suited for pictures where you either want to focus on one thing, or in the case of figurative pics – pictures of people – subjects more specifically. Since I’m a newbie to WordPress, I have to ask, how did you find my blog so quickly – I only set it up this afternoon.

    • Your blog shows up under the topic Photography in the Reader. Great photo by the way, simple yet beautiful. I look forward to seeing your other photos!

      • Gosh, going to do the darkroom dance as well? Leanne Cole is demonstrating wonderful b/w effects with SilverX on her blog. I must say that I retreated from b/w film and printing when the manufacturers started putting less silver into their products. There was no way we were ever going to achieve the beauty of the older photographs without the silver content.

        • I’ve just picked up a couple film cameras recently to play with film. Ilford and Fuji Acros film is all I know about B&W film photography. I don’t have the space/area to make a darkroom but I have some nice local shops that help me out!

  8. I like both photos, it is a very attractive point of view to infinity. Thanks for visiting my blog “Exploring the world” and liking my post Pink House. Kind greetings,

  9. I am partial to the black and white, but then I usually am as I am an old school, learned photography with b&w film – I would suggest a bit more contrast tweeking, but overall the b&w white is well done and gets my vote.

  10. Pingback: Photo 3: Black & White vs Color | skpfoto

  11. Pingback: Photo 4: Black & White vs Color | skpfoto

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