Palace Charlottenburg: color or B&W?



I revisited one of my favorite pictures from a stay in Berlin a few months ago. It’s a picture that every visitor of Palace Charlottenburg takes from the upper floor rotunda through the windows overlooking the magnificent gardens. Due to careful planning pure luck, it so happens that two (tiny) people are sitting in the foreground, contemplating the expansiveness of the gardens. In addition, the time of the day makes so that the Palace’s shadow falls into the picture, just besides the protagonists as the Sun is behind and on the left of the picture. It is probably not total coincidence since it was a somewhat cool day so sitting in the Sun must have been more comfortable. I like the perfect symmetry of the gardens, the slight asymmetry in the foreground and the completely non-symmetric sky.

I reworked the picture by processing multiple images at various exposures from a single RAW file. Although I like the result in color, I had to see what it looks like in monochrome. I have difficulty deciding which version I prefer as I am not sure whether color is an essential part of the composition, or detracts from it. What do you think: color or B&W?

I did the same exercise on a second picture of Palace Charlottenburg taken after exploring the gardens.

Equipment: Canon DSLR 5D Mk II, Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L lens, RAW conversion using Lightroom 4.1




18 thoughts on “Palace Charlottenburg: color or B&W?

  1. I like the B&W pics. The color ones look like every other postcard you can buy right there on the premises. B&W focuses the eye on the texture of the clouds, the symmetry of the garden – it makes for a more involving viewing experience. Nice work.

  2. I find it difficult to choose. I adore black and white and these photo’s work really well in mono yet the richness of the colours in them is beautiful also.

  3. I prefer the colored ones but maybe the second image looks a bit better in B/W.
    Maybe the first picture could use a bit cooler WB and a grad filter could be useful in the upper left corner with a bit of -EV compensation.

    But all in all I’m just splitting hairs here on personal tastes, of course πŸ™‚ They are already very nice pictures and thank you for the post! πŸ˜‰

    • Thanx Tamas for your comments. There is a rather strong side to side lightness gradient due to the sun’s position. I might try to reduce like you suggest. Thanx for stopping by!

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