10/08/15When I think about street photography, I tend to think in black and white. This may be due to historic influences. Its hard to put the black and white images of Robert Capa, Henri Cartier Bresson etc out of my mind. Even looking at contemporary street photographers the big names, more often than not, still shoot in black and white. Its dramatic, simple, classic and timeless.
However, I do occasionally post the odd color shot. Often the choice about whether to convert it to black and white or not is easy. When an image is all about the colours, it dies when they are taken away but sometimes when the chaos of colour is removed the image makes it point more clearly in monotones. I do sometimes find myself wondering if I'm buying into some sort of gravitas by converting an image to black and white though.
Colour shots are rare in street photography but there are some good street photographers who do work in colour and I like a lot of what they do. The most famous has to be Martin Parr but I also like the colour work of more contemporary photographers such as Joel Meyerowitz and Matt Stuart. Sometimes those images where two great colours bounce of each other are just so eye-catching and refreshing, like a blue sky behind a yellow umbrella, a red hat against a green wall. It's also hard to suggest temperatures in black and white in the way you can with warm oranges and cool blues. Colours are also so attention seeking. Nothing draws the eye quite like a splash of strong colour. It seems to shout "look at me...over here"