Street Photography Tips - 
Black & White or Color?

The street photography tips on this page follow on from the previous page on black and white street photography but they can be read independently of each other.

The question that both pages address is whether to use black and white or colour for a shot or whether to convert afterwards.

The first shot below is of a man checking coconuts to see how fresh they are.

He was shaking them gently and listening while he did so. Presumably if they are fresh then you can here the coconut milk sloshing around inside.

It was shot in color (see the second image below) and I quite liked the light-brown color of the coconuts but the red on the scooter was distracting. So I used the color selector tool in Photoshop to select the red and turned it a kind of muddy brown which helped to knock it back from the foreground.

So now the image felt less confusing but I decided to convert it all to black and white and I hope you'll agree that the shapes stand out better now. But it's impossible to know in advance how this might work once you get the image into post-processing.

So as I said in the previous article, it's always best to set your camera to black and white so you can do a rough check while you are out and about but set the camera to RAW so that you can convert it afterwards IF you want to.

Besides, converting to black and white is always better done in software like Photoshop than relying on the software in your camera to do it. Check out my article on black and white conversion if you want to know how to use the Channel Mixer in Photoshop to do so. It's the best method.

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