Photo Talk
Comments 6

BW vs Color, Decisions

When it comes to developing certain frames sometimes I’m not sure whether to go BW or Color. So here’s another exercise in processing. Personally, I like both of course, but my heart is usually on the BW. What do you think? To give you guys a perspective on how I did these. First, I went through Lightroom 3 and did some basic adjustments. What adjustments?

Canon, 40D, Wedding Photography, Event Photography, Sigma 24-60mm, 2.8 EX DG

Isabel, Coral Gables ― Canon 40D, Sigma 24-60mm 2.8 EX DG

1. The first thing I do is adjust White Balance. A funky WB will give you different looks which may not necessarily be wrong but certain looks have certain looks as they say.
2. Adjust the black, I usually bump up a little bit of clarity and vibrance, and then set a tone curve.
3. Usually, I stop at step 2 but for these I hop on over to my Photoshop replacement app called Pixelmator(Mac Only) and did some basic retouching. My goal with retouching is always to have the subject look as natural as possible. Yes, that’s really her. She’s a beauty.

Canon, 40D, Wedding Photography, Event Photography, Sigma 24-60mm, 2.8 EX DG

Isabel, Coral Gables ― Canon 40D, Sigma 24-60mm 2.8 EX DG

So, tough choices sometimes but in the end one must make a decision and live it.


  1. I like the BW better for this image, draws more attention to her face and smile. I see it at the lab where I work all the time, when you flip an image from color to BW the focal point changes. That being said, for my personal images I have a hard time seeing the BW potential. I guess it’s a matter of practice.

  2. António Marques says

    Hello, Jorge. Don’t I know this dilemma…! My approach usually is: “a photo is always better in black and white until proven otherwise…” This is tough case to choose b&w because the background is complex and distractive and the color version has same amount of cold/warm contrast that helps differentiate the subject from the background. For the b&w version I would try to add some vignette to darken the edges and direct more attention to Isabel. Cheers!

    • A salient point indeed Antonio thanks, dully noted, I’ll keep in the back burner the next time this comes up. Again decisions, decisions, lol.

  3. Streetshooter says

    I’ve always been a B&W shooter. This photo is color to me.
    The leaves on the foreground and background seem to be on the same plane due to the tonal range/contrast.

    The color seperates the background from the foreground with different shades of green. This effect now wraps around her and creates a feeling of dimension. Because of that, her face sculpts better in the light and tones.

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