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As an aside, for about five years  after taking the photography classes at Utah State University, I only shot in black and white.  Never once did I take a shot in color.  So when our business, Altus Photo Design was born in 1996, we sent two shooters — one shot in color, the other shot in black and white.  (Obviously, I was the black and white shooter.)  We were purists — no digital conversion for us.  Besides, each film actually had a personality of its own  — some had gorgeous grain while others had rich blacks.   I actually didn’t learn to like color photography until about 10 years into the shooting.  Let me explain.

Color can get in the way of the composition.  It can be distracting.   To me, color shots looked like everyone’s point and shoot snapshots.  But black and white shots looked timeless.  And most times, more artistic.  If you’re not relying on the “wow” of  the shot being gorgeous color, you have to be more careful while shooting.  Composition, cropping, tonal qualities become key to the success of the image.  And if you can shoot well in black and white, you’ll be a much better color photographer.  I’ll just show some examples to let you see what I mean.  But before I do, I’d just like to say that we’ve now joined the digital age and shoot in color then convert everything to black and white after the fact in photoshop.

color family portrait

black and white portrait

Kaden with his mom

Kaden with his mom

Kaden, 6th birthday, color

Kaden 6h Birthday in black and white

Some things look better in color — others in black and white.  Which do you like best?  Why?  Just remember, while you’re shooting around the house this week, consider saving some in black and white.  It opens up a whole new world.

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