Mono Or Not To Mono

Matt Armstrong Matt 1 Comment

For those of you who follow me on social media, you will have seen I posted these two images across my various platforms and asked the question, colour or monochrome? For everyone that took part, thank you. The responses I had were fantastic.


The reason for posting the two images was not to help me decide which I preferred as I knew in my head which of the two I liked. I wanted to see what it was that drew people to the image that they favoured.

The vast majority of people who commented on the post said they favoured the colour image. Which was fascinating to me as I favour the monochrome version.

So why is that? The simple answer, personal preference. Everyone is drawn to an image for different reasons. We cannot always explain why we prefer a certain photograph to another, we just feel our eyes being drawn to one a particular image.

To me, this is the most important factor when looking at an image. Before we ask ourselves any questions as to why we like it. We are drawn to it, without thinking, without critiquing, without judging. This is how it should be. This is how we judge all other forms of art, a painting, a sculpture, a song. They all capture us and draw us in before we really know why. So why should photography be any different? After all, photography is art, is it not?

Ok, so what’s my point?  I feel people now, are looking into and judging images far more than they need to and getting lost in the technical aspects of it all, does the picture meet and comply with the “rules” of photography?

Just as there is no right or wrong way when it comes to creating images. The same goes for enjoying them. I feel some people are embarrassed to say they like a particular image, because, for example, it has not used the rule of thirds or its slightly grainy. But if an image captures you before you have had the chance to think about all the technical stuff, then for me, it has done its job. It has grabbed you. As a photographer that is the ultimate goal. To create images that people are drawn to, not because they follow all the rules, but because it captures the eye of the viewer at first glance. It draws them in before they really know why.

Now, here is a little exercise. Below are a series of images. As the image I posted that lead me to write this blog was both in black and white and colour, I have done the same with the pictures below. I want you to just simply look at the images and let yourself be drawn to a particular one. Once you have been drawn to an image, just look at it for a few seconds and just enjoy it. Nothing more.

Share this Post

About the Author

Matt Armstrong

A deep love of nature and the great expanse of the wilderness drew me to Africa at a young age and has captivated me ever since. I truly believe that my experience and passion will ensure that you to leave your Wild Eye safari with images you can be proud of and memories that will last a life time.

Comments 1

  1. Diane Tappey

    Matt, thanks for giving my mind’s eye something to ponder. Your down to earth attitude allows the art to take the stage, not just the techniques.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *