I should be the perfect candidate to enjoy black and white (B&W) photography.
After all, I started out taking B&W photos as a kid and thot it was normal. That’s not entirely surprising since back in those prehistoric days, the whole world was black and white. I remember arguing with my dad that our TV was colour and then, to my amazement, couldn’t find the colours on the screen. My powers of visualization clearly trumped my observation prowess.
Why would I try to like B&W images later in life? All the cool and knowledgeable photographers seemed to ohh and ahh over them. I read and listened to their explanations of why they chose to use colour or not. They would talk about how B&W photos can simplify high contrast scenes and a lot of other reasons that weren’t interesting enough to remember. I didn’t appreciate any of it but figured I was missing something.
For reasons that now escape me, I wanted to appear like a cool photographer. So I genuinely tried to like B&W photos and faked it for a while. I even entered B&W photo contests at my camera club. Among the many issues with those photos was the elephant in the room – I didn’t like any of them. At some point I gave up trying. What was the point? This was supposed to be fun.
So my secret is out. I will never be part of the cool photographers’ club. I must say it comes with a measure of relief!
Perhaps my colour bias is all about personal taste or, more likely, I can trace it back to my excitement at finally being able to take colour photos! I’ve never fully recovered from that sense of wonder. Why retreat? It’s probably why I find it hard to get excited about going back to the future with Instagram filters that make images look like the dreadfully poor quality of colour photos that was the best I could do in those early days.
Bad memories don’t make appealing photos.