Why Street Photographers Shoot in Black and White

It’s a question that comes up quite a bit in my class – can we shoot in black and white? My answer has been, and will remain, quite simple – no.

My world is in color, we should capture it that way. That’s not to say that photographers who choose to work in black and white are wrong, that’s just to say that my world is in color and I prefer to see it that way.

Which means that building successful compositions and establishing a usable visual hierarchy is harder in color. But they keep telling me my students are the best there is, so I think they should be able to handle it.

Gordon Lewis over at Shutterfinger has a short post up titled Simplify about why street photographers lean towards black and white … and how to successfully use color in that realm.

Mark E. Johnson

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