Each time I take a photo, I get to choose to create the final print in a color or a black and white horse photograph.
Color photography is clearly the standard, but professional photographers still face the decision whether to present their images in color or black and white. Actually even the smart phone apps and social media apps offer the ability to quickly change from color to black and white photos.
“When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in Black and white, you photograph their souls!” – Ted Grant, Canadian Photojournalist and Author of Real Photographers Shoot Black and White. Sometimes Colour.
Color horse photos definitely catch the viewers eye.
A pop of color demands quick attention and can create a mood. Bright colors might indicate a happier mood. One might feel a sense of joy from reds and yellow and orange. Blues and grays and softer colors can create a cooler and perhaps more somber mood. Art buyers may even choose a piece of art based on the color more than the the subject. If they have a color scheme going throughout their house, they will choose items to match that scheme. My living room has a beige couch and orange chairs. The two main horse photos in my living room have dominant orange colors. Orange is a happy and warm color for me. It gives me a sense of comfort and family. I relate the color orange to fall season, which is my favorite season.
“Color can be used to evoke a certain mood or to create a message or sharp response in the viewer. As artists we learn how to use the positive or negative attributes of color in our works to subliminally send a message. ” Artist, Lori McNee discusses the emotions of color even further in this interesting blog post.
Black and White Horse Photos set a mood.
Many of my favorite and more emotional horse photos are ones that I have converted to black and white. I consider black and white horse photos or really most black and white photography to tell more of a story. The viewer doesn’t get away with just enjoying the colors, they must look deeper into the photograph and reveal more emotion. Also the photographer tells more of a story with a black and white photo. Removing color from a picture helps the viewer to focus on a subject’s emotional state. The images shown below were taken within just a few seconds of eachother. Of course the one on the right showed better movement and position of the horse but I also believe changing it to a black and white horse photo created a more dramatic image with the waves and power of the ocean behind him.
Black and White Horse Photos imply Fine Art.
It’s not just the emotions that get stirred with black and white horse photos, I also believe they give the viewer the impression of being a fine art piece and less of a snapshot. Again, because the viewer and the presenter have to work harder to make an emotional connection with each other. Black and White horse photos usually require the viewer to spend more time inspecting the photo. They are not quickly sold, just because of it’s color. Black and white photo have less to distract the viewer.
One of my all time favorite black and white horse photos is of a older Paso Stallion I photographed in New Mexico. I call him Fabio because of his long golden mane and muscular physique. However, I thought the color photos were a bit flashy and distracting.
Jody Miller is a professional photographer specializing in Horse Photography, Equine Photography, and Equestrian photography. Her work can be viewed online here in her gallery section, and she is also featured at Arts Prescott Gallery, AND NOW Sedona’s Village Gallery in Arizona.