Colour in Street Photography: the dilemma

Landscape and product photographers like me are fascinated by street photography: it sucks us in, we are drawn to it,  yet shy of getting in close.  It seems strange to have no horizons, no limits and to go back to the old style zone focus method we used when shooting film.  Then there is the dilemma, should I process my shots in black and white or colour?  There is an often cited theory that colour distracts from the story. Hence, I suppose we see so many street shots on Instagram, Tumblr,and Twitter in black and white, contrasty, filmic, old style  and full of depth.  Yet every now and then I come across someone I admire in the Photography world posting wonderful colour street images and these seem to me to be equally valuable, to have a vibrance and quality that cannot always be conveyed in B and W. And, they seem to tell a story equally well.  So here are some street shots using both formats. Which is best? As usual I will leave this up to the viewer to decide.


Venice, last light: A little lens flare, Fuji XE2 XF 35mm 1.4



Evening sunlight, Venice. Fuji XE2 with XF35mm 1.4

I have to admit the contrast in the black and white image with the wall, leading away into the distance is my favourite here.!

DSCF0312 (1)

This gentleman just looked up as I shot him, the good old Fuji X100 did the trick even though it was gloomy in the bar.


French Gentleman: Fuji X100

3 thoughts on “Colour in Street Photography: the dilemma

  1. No contest, Drew… you shoot what pleases your eye… and they’re fine shots. I spent a little time in the same bar a couple of years back where my lovely partner took me for my 60th birthday. Best place to drink in the whole of Venice IMHO 😉It was great watching the gondola’s being tested while sipping a nice glass of red. Best, as always, Tony

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Tony.. of course you are correct.. Yep, Venice is special no doubt, I want to get back there .. You getting the cold snap up there..? we are still grey. Regards Drew

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s beautiful here today, Drew, very few clouds in sight. Off to Liverpool to do a tad of architectural photography while the light’s good… Best, Tony

        Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.