B&W or Color?

Ascensore Spianata Castelletto Genova
Ascensore Spianata Castelletto | Genoa | 2023

Anyone playing with monochrome conversions in post-processing knows the pondering question: B&W or color? Like I did when looking at this shot of Ascensore Spianata Castelletto, one of the elevators that connect the base of Genoa‘s old town with the higher quarters. From the terrace next to the elevator you have a splendid view across the medieval old town out to the harbor and the Mediterranean beyond. I decided I like the monochrome version better. I think it better fits the elegance of the art deco elevator house. What do you think? Check out the color version after the jump…

Ascensore Spianata Castelletto Genova
Ascensore Spianata Castelletto | Genoa | 2023

Well, here is the colored version. What do you think? Look for photographs of yourself that you could imagine look well in monochrome, then convert them. And then decide: B&W or Color?

The image was taken with my iPhone 14 Pro and post-processed (incl. B&W conversion) in Lightroom Classic.

If you are looking for tips and inspirations around street photography you can find in my free Learning center.

Have a great Friday


Related Posts:

To crop or not to crop

Smartphone or entry level camera?

Liquid Houses

Instant Inspiration (11) – Change of Perspective

40 thoughts on “B&W or Color?

Add yours

  1. I like b/w photography a lot, but in this case I think colour. The cloud, the light in the building, the colour version just seems more vibrant and lively.

  2. I think my vote for this goes to colour. The lighting on the buildings is perfect and you just can’t recreate that with the B and W.

  3. I vote for the BW, but maybe with a bit more contrast? 😊 The color version is really all about that building in the middle, and of course the cloud. This exercise is a good example of how to emphasize the subject you were looking at when you snapped, versus what you discover when you look later.

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, David, so much appreciated! I played with more contrast, but found that then I would have lost the details in the little buildings below…so decided against…

  4. Color. The shot is about the cloud and it’s reflection on the building in the middle. And the cloud is special because of it’s color. In the B&W it looses it’s ‘glory’; and the building looks a bit strange ‘lit from below’, because the connection with the cloud is not clear anymore without the color.

  5. I like the grittiness the B&W brings to this downtown area, but the color photo is a stunner. The sun shining on that building in the background is gorgeous. It is barely noticeable in the first photo. Both beauties, though.

  6. I’m torn. Both are excellent.
    But the warm glow off the building in the middle draws me to the color image just a tad more.
    Well, maybe not.
    Yep, I’m torn.

  7. Hi Marcus,

    Thanks for sharing your images, in b&w and color. Very sharp, and very beautiful images, btw.

    I love b&w, and oftentimes find myself in situations where I have to choose between b&w and color. And sometimes it’s not the easiest thing to do.

    I think it boils down to where and how you would use the image. Especially when, in this case (the images you shared in this post) both are beautiful images. Personally, I’d go with the b&w one.

    That said, again, I think it depends on how/where you want to use the image(s). The b&w image has, perhaps, would be a good fit as part of a (travel) photo show about Genoa or the like, while the color image would work better in a travel magazine or a publication about Genoa, or something similar. While both images are beautiful, in my humble opinion, I think that the color one is (in a way) what we would expect to see in a gorgeous sunset, while the b&w one really makes us stop and look, really look and take in all those details.

    My two cents.

    Thanks again for sharing!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and sharing your thoughts, Alina, highly appreciated! And you raised an excellent point here. It very much depends on the use of the photograph, and you provided great examples. Have a great and creative Sunday! Marcus

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Up ↑