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Black And White Or Colours?

I like the images with saturated colours. Totally personal preference. Watching the image with variety of full-on colours always makes me feel good. Those colours I don't really notice with my eyes in OVF comes truly alive when I start to move around the saturation bar. I enjoy the process and love the results.

Not only colours. I have been using VSCO Film presets for Aperture 3 and just love the effects. Often I don't have to go with full film effect, just some of toolkits they pack with becomes extremely useful to do post-processing raw images from X100.

Now this particularly becomes a problem for me whenever I take photos and decide what tone I should go for this image set. Having said that organising the images with consistent theme and presenting them with friends (you might call it sharing) is the joyful part of my photo shooting so it's always hard to come up with the final decision. Especially, when I have to choose between the Colours vs B&W.

The followings are the images from the place called Woronora Dam in the Sutherland Shire in Sydney's South. Beautiful day to go out for a picnic with bright sun in the sky. First I mainly touched exposure as the dam gets giant shade on the side and gave good amount of colours to show off the blue sky and trees. To me it gives a good balance of the giant human made construction and the nature in the frame and also I can feel how nice the day was. Again, the weather was awesome.

"No Climbing Sign"
Yes. Do not climb on DAM wall :)

The mom noticed that I was taking their picture but kindly enough she didn't mind that much.


"Gazing 1"

"Gazing 2"

Now I wanted to get the images in Black and White. By the way when I shoot X100, the film simulation is set as Provia so I see colours during the shooting. Sometimes I set it as B&W to see the scene differently but while I'm shooing outside, I don't have much time to spend looking at the view finder to check the image I just took. It's a quick guide to check the composition for me but nothing more than that.

Anyway by melting all the colours into black and white does some magical treatment to the scene and the series now looks like a kind of documentary film from 1970s which I totally love too.

"No Climbing Sign"



"Gazing 1"

"Gazing 2"

So this becomes the problem for me. Which set should I present? By all means there is no harm for me to keep both versions in my library (which I actually do) but once I post my pics in Facebook (yep they are my main clients for my amateur photography ^), I don't post it again with different colour tone. Obviously not that obsessed :)

Most of images I posted here also went through Colour vs B&W phase and I ended up the best choice I think it is. That's the time I just have to trust my aesthetic sense and wish other people would accept it as I do.

Funny thing is that my wife does not like B&W as much as I do. She thinks I'm over using it to cover up my bad camera skills. In some sense I think she is right. In many cases some of shots 2/5 stars with colours becomes 3.5/5 stars with B&W in my mind and I just wish people would think I know what I am doing :)

All the images were published under the "Creative Commons" licence.


  1. I have not shot RAW on the X100. I love the out-of-the-camera shots. Never felt the need to explore RAW. Maybe I should. But superb JPEG shots are what the X100 is know for. Maybe you would like to try. Shoot RAW+JPEG, do your workflow for RAW, then compare. I think the X100 can do bracketing. Not sure if you can bracket colour and B&W. I haven't tried. But I know you can bracket the 3 colour film modes. :)

  2. I actually do shoot in RAW+JPEG mode so I can compare the JPEG from X100 and the post processed RAW. Surely X100 produces an amazing JPEG results, but I still do very much enjoy doing post-processing on the raw files. No matter how good the JPEG quality is, to me it's just another version of post-processed file and I want to see different possibilities.

    But as I said I also do shoot in RAW+JPEG and sometimes I just keep JPEG file when I have no interest to do any processing on the raw image. So, it all comes down to my mood when I go through the day's shooting :)


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