Party! Part two...

As promised a few more from the birthday bash. It was a colourful affair with music, dancing, laughter and even a few tears (the happy kind). Wish I'd taken more photos of the food though, It looked good and tasted even better. Also, thank you for all the likes, shares and positive feedback lately, makes the journey more worthwhile and I'm glad to have you all along for the ride. There's a small piece at the end about editing choices and use of colour if anyone is interested. Hit the heart if you like the images and enjoy. 

I just want to share a few thoughts on the editing side of things as I have been asked about using both colour and black and white. I've read plenty of articles by professional photographers that say you shouldn't mix the two in one set, but I've also seen many pros use the two together and ultimately, as with most forms of art, it's subjective. I'll admit the combination of the two above might be a little jarring, given the way in which it's presented, but there was, and always is, a reason for the choices made. 

For me, it all depends on the image and what I'm trying to achieve. To start with I'll look at the image and almost always assume I'll stick to the default of colour. Occasionally I'll visualise an image in black and white but I like to try both as a starting point. If I'm getting any sort of emotional response from the colours, whether it's setting the tone/mood like the "touch of frost" photos or just a general "these colours look nice" kind of feeling, then I'll usually go with it and start playing with the sliders to get the look I want (using VSCO film presets as a starting point if need be). Now it's during this process, as I'm working an image, I really start to see what's working well and what isn't. If the colours around an image are distracting me from the main focus point, however nice they may be, I'll try black and white and see if it works better. I've also found that using black and white seems to slow the eye down and I'll find myself looking at the image for a lot longer and taking more of it in. Colour seems to be better at setting a tone immediately (think warm/cold colours) and if the strongest colours are also your main focus point then that's a bonus. 

With the above images, the light was constantly changing with the party lights changing colour and in constant motion, so I had to do a fair bit of pushing and pulling in post. As most people were wearing bright colours, group shots were just a sea of different colours, which sounds nice in theory but it drowned out the faces, which was the opposite of what I wanted for certain images, hence the choice of black and white. On the other hand I wouldn't dream of having an image of Chilli Paneer (the dish above) in black and white, because, well, look how tasty it looks in colour! So there's a lot of reasons to use either one, there's also a lot of variation within the use of both, so the answer to why I decide to use one or the other all really depends on what I want from that one specific image. A lot of this though is already decided when composing and shooting, the more you can get right 'in camera' the better. 

Hopefully the above ramblings have made some sort of sense for those that have asked and may be interested in the thought process. I haven't studied colour theory (don't remember anything useful from Uni) and just rely on gut feeling, but it's probably something I'll look into more as time goes on. Feel free to comment below if you have any thoughts.