Who needs color anyway?

I’m sitting on the tarmac at the airport in Knoxville awaiting the opportunity to join in the madness of the busiest travel day of the year. The next thing you know, I’ll be waiting in line in the wee hours of Black Friday at Best Buy to get a deal on a big screen. That’s highly doubtful, but now that I’ve written that, I’m sure to see ads on Facebook for an 80” LG 4K TV set. I love the commercial elements of the holidays. 

So, while dreaming of big screens on the tarmac, I browsed my recent images of the swamps. I’m very happy with them, but while browsing I started to wonder what they might look like in black and white. Fortunately, I have this fancy electronic gizmo that provides me with a toolset (Lightroom CC) to process images. So I started to play. I pushed the black and white button, added a little contrast, darkened some highlights, did some burning and dodging and voila! No more wondering what the black and white versions might look like…they stared me in the face. My immediate thought when I saw the results was “who needs color anyway??” 

So I thought I’d share them with you to see what you think. Maybe you agree, maybe you don’t. There is no right or wrong here, it is just a matter of personal taste. For me personally, I love the color versions. I also love the black and white versions. Such a conundrum. 

It fascinates me that, even though color is so important in the visual perception of our environment, the lack of it still provides a functional basis for vision and, more to point, the basis for artistic expression. As hard as it might be to imagine, we might get along just fine in a monochromatic world. Skeptical? Think about color blind people. Of course, those of us who are “color blind” still see color, but are blind to certain hues due to a missing cone in the retina. Some people are “color blind” and don’t even know it. My point is that color might be considered icing on the cake of visual perception. More about that at another time.

Until then have a gander at the black and white images here. Compare them to the color versions I’ve recently posted and let me know what you think. And in case you’re interested, I’d highly recommend Lightroom CC on your mobile device if you like to edit images on the tarmac of airports (now I’ll get see Facebook ads for Lightroom, too!).


    1. It’s interesting how colors and monochrome evoke different emotions. One is not better than the other, but I find it fascinating how much they differ. Even if it is winter in the swamp!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s