Tis a Color world we Make our Black and Whites from

I’m a wee bit out of place here so bear with me. I’m very aware of the difference of working in color vrs b&w. I’m not teaching a course here, just merely explaining how I work within each method. Your findings may be different but this is how I see it.

I’ve been doing b&w street for almost half a century. During this time I have only on rare occasions used or even seen color. Part of this is that I really don’t think in color. Of course I see it but I discount it’s intensity and meaning when I’m shooting. I remember more then a few decades ago, my friend Paul McGuirk (actually my brother for all intents and purposes) started shooting color slides and then color negs. I felt betrayed by his images. I felt that I would not let this color disease enter my world. Then one weekend in Washington DC, he showed me his photos. We did this often, share thoughts and discuss our work together.

Things changed for me as far as vision goes. We were looking at some photos and one just sang out to me….”I’m a color shot, don’t you see that”? Well, it’s a photo of the Lincoln Memorial. That photo in itself changes the way I thought. It didn’t change the way I worked but it had a very profound effect on me. Issue two of The Inspired Eye will have an interview and photos by Paul in it. The vision changing thought provoking photo is in the issue.


Move ahead many years and here I am. A great thing for me is to have my screen on the camera see in b&w. Then when I go to LR, I see a color raw file. At this point a decision can be made as to the life of the photo. I still don’t see color out there but when I re-photograph in LR, that’s where color has a chance. I started making presets in color because if I am going to work that way, I want it to be my way.




I think these 2 images express how I relate to color. You may or may not agree but it’s how I respond to it. Long gone are the days of having to make a decision before exposure with films……