Quote Originally Posted by bjorke

Today, B&W has an iconic role that a PJ is usually best to ignore (if possible).
I disagree with you on this, Bjorke. To me, that is like saying that analogue photography has an artistic role that a modern photographer is best to ignore. Or that landscape photographers should only do digital color work, or they will invariably be Ansel Adams wanna-be's... you get the picture. You should not invalidate a practice only because it was once mainstream, but nowadays ceased to be.

I hope I don't come across agressive, or as a finger pointer (which would be ridiculous; I've seen some of your B&W work ) , I'm just trying to make my point clear.

I personally shoot black and white documentary projects, and do so for a variety of reasons. I think Jeanette (BWGirl) has a very good point on why B&W reportage has such an impact: It is shot with such an impact in mind. Furthermore, it often emphasizes issues otherwise ignored or played down by society. Such issues, when once again confronted, greet society with an open-handed slap to the face. Or at least the photographer hopes so.

By photographer I mean me.

I hope I don't sound like a snob... (heck, I've never published any of my documentary stuff).

As for why B&W, to me it's simple. Color, to me, is ugly. It's confusing, arbitrary, and othewise pointless. I really, really dislike color. That is why I shoot black and white. And that is why digital is so scary to me. Digital, like color, is arbitrary. B&W is less so.

The fact that black and white isolates the elements in the picture is considered in the above point.

As an interesting side mark, I tend to think that color work emphasizes the "moment" much more than B&W. To me, color is to snapshots as B&W is to timelessness. I usually think of B&W documetary work as stressing a general/universal issue, rather than a specific event. Think Salgado's "Migrations" as opposed to whomever's "Diplomat meets President". This is an exageration, I know, but I think it makes the point clear.

And of course, here is the disclaimer: I dig (some) color work as well. There are people who do it well (but my mind just went blank).

But to me, B&W is still king.