Do you have a preference: mono or color?

I’m making an effort to learn something about black and white photography. With digital cameras, it is so much easier than it used to be with film, but there are still things to be learned about processing mono images to bring out the various tones to their fullest effect. There is definitely a learning curve for someone (like me) just dipping their toes in the water for the first time. Color attracts me. I am drawn to it. Mono or black and white images are very different creatures than those in full living color. We live in a world full of colors, and I am thankful for that; however, I’m willing to take a giant step outside my comfort zone and see what I can learn about processing monochromatic images. So I am beginning to experiment by posting some mono photos along with my usual colored ones and also by participating in the MonoMonday challenge on Here are two images for comparison…first the mono, then the color version:

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Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

I trekked through a field of mud and stubble to reach this little ice-covered pond, hoping to find the Eastern bluebird and meadowlarks others had seen in the area; however, all I got was some pictures and the possibility of learning more about mono vs color processing. No meadowlarks or bluebirds unfortunately! So after making my way through the stubble and back to the trail, I ended my morning by walking around the bog to get a few pictures there. Our winter weather has been pretty extreme, and the bog has been covered in ice so thick I was able to walk on it last week to get a picture of the screech owl that nests in the bog. Now the ice is melting, and this is what it looks like:

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Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

In processing the mono image, I chose to add some grittiness to it because that’s the way it seems to me when you take away the color. I’m not sure if I like it that way, but experimenting with the processing is probably the best way to learn. That’s it for today from the north coast of Ohio. If you have any thoughts about mono vs living color, please share them in the comments.

Thanks for stopping by my corner of Ohio today.
Carolyn aka Skip

P.S. I also posted a different mono image on Blipfoto today. If you are interested, you can see it here.

3 Replies to “Do you have a preference: mono or color?”

  1. I think the reason I like the black and white photo best in the final two is that the trees seem to stand out more, but in the color version there doesn’t seem to be much contrast between them and the brushy background leaving no focal points in the photo.


  2. I agree with mk – the color in the first set of images is striking and beautiful. The second set works better in mono. Nicely done Skip!!


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