Shooting Colour Monochromes

For more of the year than not, I favour shooting in black and white, usually with a fairly high contrast set up that gives me bright whites and deep inky blacks.

Then at some point during spring, I typically shift back to colour photography, unable to resist the delicious colours of nature’s rebirth any longer.

But even when I’m shooting colour, I’ve realised I often shoot with a very limited palette.

Much of the time, in effect I’m shooting monochrome, but with a single base colour of green, or blue, or yellow, instead of white.




One tends to think of colour photography as being all the colours of the rainbow, or at least a handful of colours in any one shot.

But often by restricting the range of colours to very few – or just one – we can, I feel, create very powerful and beautiful images.

How about you? How often do you shoot colour monochromes?

Please let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).

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7 thoughts on “Shooting Colour Monochromes”

  1. I can’t say I do it often but it happens for sure. Normally when I’m on the streets I try to find complementing colours. I have a rule – if a colour doesn’t bring anything to an image then it has to be in b&w. I find it more difficult to work with colour but more rewarding in the long run.
    Lovely macro shots Dan!

    1. Yuri, that is an excellent rule for colour versus b/w. I do the same in effect, most of the time I make a colour photo, it’s because I want to capture the beauty of the colour, if that makes sense.

    1. I think I’ve always associated green with leaves and grass and countryside and freedom, as well as new growth and spring. All very positive things.

      Probably 90% of my colour photos strongly feature green! And when the sun is shining, spring and summer foliage is generally very vivid, so I like to try to capture that accurately, so it looks alive on the screen.

  2. Hi Dan,
    I forgot to give you the update on the vintage Leica Digilux, I was going to box it up and post it to you, but after charging up the battery, it appears to be quite dead. Probably related to the large dent in the top plate.

  3. I went back and looked at stream of pictures from recent months, and out of about 400, I found a couple that were like that (and abut 30 actual monochromes). None of them is particularly appealing, they were more like experiments… so I think that for myself, I’m not sure how much I’d get out of it.
    But I like the thought of it… it would be interesting as a photography challenge…

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