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Thread: HCB in Colour

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    HCB in Colour

    http://photemera.blogspot.com/2010/0...color-for.html

    http://life.time.com/henri-cartier-b...-color-1958/#1

    As one of the most recognizable photographers of all times - beacuse of his unique style, talent, partly because his work has been published widely - do you think his colour photos work as well with the added dimension (of colour)?

  2. #2
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miha View Post
    http://photemera.blogspot.com/2010/0...color-for.html

    http://life.time.com/henri-cartier-b...-color-1958/#1

    As one of the most recognizable photographers of all times - beacuse of his unique style, talent, partly because his work has been published widely - do you think his colour photos work as well with the added dimension (of colour)?
    No, I think this was more experimentation than anything on his part. If you convert all of them to black & white they probably work better. I would guess he was also probably colour blind to some extent.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

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    I often hear colour is more difficult. Maybe it's true.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cliveh View Post
    No, I think this was more experimentation than anything on his part. If you convert all of them to black & white they probably work better. I would guess he was also probably colour blind to some extent.
    That's a wild assumption!

    I don't think they would 'probably' work well in black and white either. This is one of the biggest collective brain farts of creative judgement in 21st century photography. We're living in the convert to greyscale generation (somewhat aptly abbreviated, CGG).

    And cliveh, you only ever shoot in black and white! Surely you know the difference between tonality and colour by now?

    Please somebody buy cliveh a book of colour photography for Christmas... and I don't mean 'WW1 in Colour', but 'colour photography'; the kind where colour is used as a visual statement of creative intent.

    This said, his colour pictures linked are just illustrations for a crappy magazine, I don't think he was trying to set the photographic art world's pants on fire.
    'Cows are very fond of being photographed, and, unlike architecture, don't move.' - Oscar Wilde

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    I don't think either is more difficult than the other, but they are very different. For what HCB did, black and white suited his vision. The same was true for very different reasons of Ansel Adams who did dabble in color but whose color work was, IMHO, pretty unremarkable.

    Kerry Thalmann is one photographer who comes to mind whose work I like but just wouldn't work well, most of it, in black and white:

    http://www.thalmann.com/

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    MDR
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    I am not much of a HCB fan but I don't think that his color work is bad. It illustrated the article quiet well (china) and his work has a theme the red in china (good work imo). The Fishermen photograph (Holiday) is actually quiet good. I think when people look at his color work they try to compare it to his B/W which they shouldn't. B/W and color have a different emphasis. I for one liked his color work. Some of AA color work is not bad either we are just so accostumed to their B/W work that we can't fairly judge (prejudice) their color work.

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    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    I don't think AA's color is bad but it doesn't have the impact his black and white does, at least for me.

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    I agree that the pictures were meant to illustrate an article in a magazine, and were made with that in mind. Plus, remember that HCB's body of work was made over many years- he didn't go out and create one iconic image after another.
    I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
    When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    MDR
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    I believe the color pictures loose their impact because we constantly have pictures like moonrise over Hernandez in our mind when we look at AA photos. The same with HCB color work we constantly compare it to some great B/W image. Seriously a lot HCB famous work is less than great the guy jumping over a puddle is nothing special and even people with LF cameras were able to make such a photo and actually did. AA and HCB B/W are hyped to a degree that I quiet honestly don't get. If people wouldn't have known that the work was made by HCB or AA they would have said good work instead of it doesn't compare to their B/W work. It doesn't it's different with a different goal in mind.

    Darko I always enjoy a good comic strip and calvin and hobbes are usually great. Thanks

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