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The Final Frame

GABRIEL FUCHS will be remarking on your slightly Irrational behaviour and interesting antics on this page In the first issue of each month. His idea of a 'normal' occupation is business intelligence and performance management

Gabriel Fuchs

ROSE ARE RED, VIOLETS ARE BLUE... UNLESS YOU SHOOT BLACK & WHITE

WHAT could be more colourful than flowers? Flowering plants have been around for at least 125 million years and we still like them. They are colourful, they smell nice (except daisies) and they are a great inspiration for all art forms. If that weren't enough, flowers have also been used as symbols of war, whether it is the Wars of the Roses or the red poppies growing on the battlefields of the First World War that today are a symbol of remembrance of the casualties of war.

In literature, flowers abound. One of the world's most famous poems, even known and recognised by people who do not generally read poetry - or even books - is about the beautiful colours of flowers.

Roses are red, Violets are blue, Sugar is sweet, And so are you.

The origins of the poem can be traced back to The Faerie Queene, written in the late 16th century by Sir Edmund Spenser. However, to a photographer shooting black & white photographs, this poem makes no sense at all. To be understood by black & white photographers, it must therefore be adapted:

Roses are grey, Violets are grey, Sugar is sweet, And you, too, are grey.

Trust a photographer to take away the colour of poetry. I spent some time recently with my photographer friend Anita while she focused on taking black & white photos. Anything colourful was ignored at the expense of CPS - contrast, patterns and symmetries. These things are often easier to highlight in black & white. The irony was that the whole purpose of this approach was to bring out some kind of poetry in her black & white images. Colourless poetry, though.

Some photographers just cannot get enough of black & white, but what is better in black & white than in colour? Before I even think about answering that, let's turn the question around: what is better In colour than it is in black & white7

Actually, a whole lot!

What is better in colour than it is in SS1!^

pistachio ice-cream rather than green7 Who prefers a grey Alfa Romeo sports car rather than red? Who would want to go to the Mediterranean If it offered grey skies rather than blue' And who would want to watch a sunset If it were just shades of grey?

Colour Is part of our Instincts. Just look at babies, still pure and unaffected by photographic minds. What toys do they tend to choose? Grey7 Or colourful7 Admittedly, babies can behave in rather mysterious ways, but let's not get distracted by that. Babies have instincts, and those instincts go for colour

Obviously, my ignorance of black & white photography is likely to upset many hardcore photographers, but I can upset people even when not talking about photography. Just ask Anita. And whenever I mention black & white to her, the discussions become most colourful.

Talking of Anita, she is a most colourful friend. When she smiles, she smiles with every muscle in her face, and when she is upset, there is no mistaking it So why is it that such a colourful person can look so much more expressive on a portrait photo taken in black & white7 Just like CPS, here is another example of how black & white has its place in photography. Even I understand and appreciate Its beauty.

Nonetheless, from a Darwinian point of view, as well as from a baby's perspective, the reasons for shooting black & white do not seem that intuitive. I feel I must be black & white on this matter. Anyone seeing shades of grey is colour-blind.

Despite this, black & white has its supporters, including the great John Wayne, who said, 'If everything isn't black & white, I say, "Why the hell not7'"

After all, we all know what happened if you upset John Wayne: you risked seeing stars in any and every colour. AP

black & white? Actually, a whole lot

Editorial

Amateur Photographer, IPC Media, Blue Fin Building. 110 Southwark Street, London SEI OSU telephone 0203148 4138 Fax 0203148 8130 Email amateurphotographeriiipcmedia.com Subscriptions telephone 08456767778

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Amateur Photographer, IPC Media, Blue Fin Building, 110 Southwark Street, London SEI OSU. Telephone: 0203148 2516 Email [email protected] Classified telephone 0203148 2929. Fax: 0203148 8158 Display telephone 0203148 2516. Fax: 0203148 8158 Inserts call Innovator on 0203148 3710

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Editorial team

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Editor's PA

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Art Editor

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Production Editor

Lesley Upton

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News Editor

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Simon Warren

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Special thanks to

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[email protected]

The moderators of the AP website The Fat Controller, Fenris

Oswin, Huw Evans, Chris Cool, Nick Roberts, Andrew Robertson

Special thanks to

Rosie Barratt (picture returns) 0203148 4121

[email protected]

The moderators of the AP website The Fat Controller, Fenris

Oswin, Huw Evans, Chris Cool, Nick Roberts, Andrew Robertson

Advertising team

Advertisement Director Advertisement Manager Senior Display Sales Exec Senior Display Sales Exec Display Sales Executive

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Publishing team

Group Magazines Editor Garry Coward-Williams Publishing Director Alex Robb [email protected] Managing Director Paul Williams

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