There are black and white snobs, as well as colour snobs.

Article Dedication

in Honor of

Charles Cushman  &  David ‘Stereo Realist’ White


Color vs BW

Selection from  De Wallen: Amsterdam’s Red Light District (Candid)

artists’ book by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

The “I only shoot BW” photogs can lose important information if they stick to their dogmatic position 100%. Now, I used to be one of those types back in the 1970’s before branching out to color in the 1980’s.

I would look down on the color photogs…I was a purest. As I look back on it I can see it was all ego driven nonsense.

Sometimes the image will work either way. If so, do what you like. Other times it needs to be in color or BW only. Let the image decide and do what is best for the image…not your ego.

In the above example it could have worked in BW or color. But when it goes BW you lose the bluish light on the upper left. The blue light signifies the prostitute depicted in the graf is a transwoman. So, that information is lost in the BW version.

Now, let me throw a monkey wrench into the equation. The above image is cropped. When I looked at the un-cropped version, it looked to me that the blue color is actually a blue light shining on the graffiti. I can’t tell for sure if the blue is in the paint or the light on the paint, but that shows you how cropping can affect an image as well.


This photo at Grand Central Station works poorly as a B&W image. It is too busy and needs color for separation. (Candid)

Lost Princess Copyright 2013 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr

Sometimes the best treatment for a photo is a mix of color and BW.  The Lost Princess is a good example of how selective color can work for an image. (Candid)


This shot on the Staten Island Ferry only had one option…if I wanted to perfect it.

Selection from The Americans…60 years after Frank artist’s book (Candid)

by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.


Faces of Gentrification worked best in hyper-real HDR, so that was what it got. I always try to go with what serves the image best and can work seamlessly between all genre.

Ernst Hass sums things up nicely on this subject …

“There are black and white snobs, as well as colour snobs. Because of their inability to use both well, they act on the defensive and create camps. We should never judge a photographer by what film he uses- only by how he uses it.”