Many famous photographers shot many or all of their most evocative images in black and white, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa being among the first two to spring to mind. And not just because they had no other option. Paolo Pellegrin won Photographer of the Year last year with a largely black and white portfolio.
Black and white photography reduces a colourful world to different tones and, in doing so often simplifies a scene. Simple can be better, resulting in more powerful images. Not every photo works better in black and white, far from it, but some certainly do.
The photo above, taken during a wedding at the excellent La Vieja Bodega restaurant, in Casalarreina, near Haro, La Rioja, is a case in point.
I was reminded of this during a two-hour mentoring session this week with the renown British wedding photographer, Jeff Ascough. When I moved to Spain four years ago I always offered my wedding clients the option of black and white photographs. And the offer is still there! If you’re interested, please don’t hesitate to ask!