“My philosophy, like colour television, is all there in black and white” (Monty Python)
Visitors to ministract.com know of my appreciation and respect for the work of Jim Mortram I doubt there are many folk around who could look at his pictures and read the words that accompany them, and not be moved. All of the pictures that accompany the stories in his Small Town Inertia series are black and white and it's impossible to imagine them being anything else. (He's just launched a new story that's definitely worth reading)
“When you photograph people in colour, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in Black and white, you photograph their souls!” (Ted Grant)
Another of my favourite photographers - whose work captures the essence of a scene - is Chris Friel. On his website, Chris mentions that he's colour blind - but look at his pictures (such as this or this) and you'll see that he certainly doesn't lack sympathy for colours. Far from it. Then there's Barbara Stumm - one of my JiBBR friends. Take a look at her Flickr home page for a glorious infusion of colour.
"Colour is a power which directly influences the soul". (Wassily Kandinsky)
A few days ago Jim and I had an exchange on Facebook about colour and B&W photography. He summed it up nicely when he said that "B&W feels like me, colour is a brave new world. I'll go adventuring there, but I'll always come back home." I agree totally except with the roles reversed - my home is colour and, right now, the closest I'll get to the brave new world of B&W is with naturally monochrome shots like the ones I'm posting here.
PS If you have a moment or two spare then you might enjoy this article by Steve Meltzer. Written last November and inspired by the "Cartier-Bresson, A Question of Colour" exhibition, he concludes
"As modern photographers, we are all free to shoot in black-and-white or color. Both have their pros and cons. I'm simply happy when I take a good photograph."