“Colour photographs tend to lack seriousness. The colours are exaggerated; not real. But, with black and-white, one can create visual harmony in the sense that the visual noise and distortion in the picture come through like a dialogue.” Raghu Rai
The reporter who wrote this article wasn’t totally convinced but Raghu Rai is an icon in both India and the photographic world so it’s hard to argue with him, although I would suggest Raghubir Singh, who is as famous if not more so for his colour work, would have a very different opinion.
So as an exercise I took a rather ordinary image shot last year around this time and gave it the monochrome makeover. Rai is right, it’s much easier to control the way a picture is viewed in black and white, primarily because colour isn’t there to distort and distract from the form and compositional elements of the image.
Only my opinion and I admit I could be totally wrong, but then I’ve got Raghu Rai on my side.
50mm, f5.6, 1/125sec, ISO100