Posted by: cochinblogger | April 10, 2010

When Less Is More in Photography

Many master photographers, such as Yousuf Karsh, have worked entirely in black and white. Famed war photographer, James Nachtwey, has a marked preference for black and white. Karsh is famous for his timeless portraits of celebrities, such as the memorable one of Churchill. He preferred to capture famous people in black and white; he believed color would make them look like ordinary folk. I don’t know what to make of that, but given his stupendous success, he was on to something, I think. However, for the kind of stark images that Nachtwey dealt in, black and white is a natural choice. Sometimes in photography, less is more.

I recently snapped this while walking home after work. The lady was wearing an expensive blue saree, but I thought the impact would be greater in black and white. Color in this image would be a distraction. Black and white highlights the white and silver hues of the hair, for instance.

Another thought: I got their backs, not their faces. I now think that is fine; the faces of the couple would have distracted from the story the image is trying to tell.

Sometimes in photography, less is more.

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