It’s official! I’ve been bitten by the black and white bug again.
Back in the late 1990s while working in Joliet, I would convert 90% of my images to black and white and 100% of my contest photos.
After winning POY in 2000, I was bombarded with the question- “Why did you enter all your contest pictures in black and white?” My smart ass answer was always- “Because I wanted to win.”
After that I started entering all contests in color and even went back to color when presenting some of my photos from the year 2000.
It is much harder to back a great color image than a black and white image. Color can be so distracting that sometimes the content gets lost. A great black and white photo has to have great content or it is nothing.
I guess the flip side is that if you have little content in your photo, the color can divert one’s attention away from that.
Black and white especially helps in picture stories when you are shooting under many different light sources. I have decided to present my homeless soccer story in black and white because it has been shot outdoors, outdoors at night under street lights, inside with tungsten, inside with florescent and inside with harsh ugly dim sports arena light. The black and white gives all the images the same feel and allows the viewer to concentrate on the moments.
Last night, I was assigned to photograph a Class 2A girls basketball super-sectional in Elgin. I got there early and shot the tail end of Class 1A super-sectional between Hinckley Big Rock and Dakota.
As HBR started to pull ahead, I planted myself in front of the Dakota student section. They were so engrossed in the action that they didn’t pay much attention to me.
As their team fell farther behind, the reality that their season was ending started to sink in.