How do you feel about color photography? I hate it!

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It’s disgusting. I hate it! I’ve done it only when I’ve been to countries where it was difficult to go and they said, “If you don’t do color, we can’t use your things.” So it was a compromise, but I did it badly because I don’t believe in it.

The reason is that you have been shooting what you see. But then there are the printing inks and all sorts of different things over which you have no control whatsoever. There is all the interference of heaps of people, and what has it got to do with true color?

via Henri Cartier-Bresson: ‘There Are No Maybes’ –

There Are 7 Comments On This Article.

  1. Spoken like the truest of purists. I still love color. I don’t know many photographers who attempt to keep their color photography precise to the real colors anyway but the issue of reproduction of color photographs is a good point. Maybe his best point.

  2. A very interesting comment, but that interview was in 1971. He was reflecting on the photographic technology of his time. Black & white offered fantastic control of the image; color didn’t. Color was a much more difficult process then, and indeed had “all sorts of different things over which you have no control whatsoever”. However, technology has moved on since then, to the point that we have just as much control over color as we did over black & white.

  3. Ricardo Montenegro

    Both color and black/withe are great. BUT honestly black/withe is more dramatic and i agree w/Zlatko. There is more control in processing Colors now.

  4. scott Rex Ely

    The photo mind can be calibrated to any desire.
    Authentic, well articulated desires win.

  5. He’s right and until recently getting correct color intent published was nearly impossible. Every printer used their own intuition rather than follow a standard.

    These days with inexpensive spectrophotometers its easy to calibrate to a common standard and be reasonably assured of the result. Match prints and contract proofs can be had if you really want it.