Barn on a Hill – Colour or Mono?

Sometimes, just sometimes, I take a photograph which I think works well in black and white as well as in colour. It doesn’t happen very often as the vast majority of the time I look to take an image which I can convert into monochrome, but inevitably there are going to be occassions when stripping the colour away is almost sacrilege given the subject matter of the image.

When down in Dorset the other week I took one such photograph which I have called ‘Barn on a hill’. My default is always to convert to mono and the finished result is shown below.

Barn on a hill
‘Barn on a hill’ in mono.

Restoring all the colour and processing the image in an alternative way gives me a completely different picture.

Barn on a hill - colour version
‘Barn on a hill’ in colour

Personally I think both have their merits. In fact I decided to upload the mono version to 500px. Up until now I have always used Flickr for my online presence, so this was the first of my photographs to appear on 500px. Within the space of an hour or two it rose from ‘Fresh’ to ‘Upcoming’ before being graded as ‘Popular’, which I assume is similar to ‘Explore’ on Flickr. It’s pulse (a measure of how popular an image is on 500px) rose to 97.9 out of 100 and to date has 132 ‘likes’ and 60 ‘favs’. I quite like the way 500px measures the activity and popularity of a photograph; it’s certainly a different approach to how Flickr operates.

Anyway enough of stats and back to photography and I ask myself one simple question. Should I process and keep more colour images and not always be looking at the world in black and white? In this case the appeal of colour is too great to ignore, but of the two I still prefer the mono version, so I guess that’s the answer to my question!

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