Color or monochrome? Abandoned railroad station, Corinth, Greece

Untitled

A
Untitled

  • 2
  • 0
  • 100
Black Bull (2010)

A
Black Bull (2010)

  • 0
  • 2
  • 109
Liz-Lith.jpg

A
Liz-Lith.jpg

  • 6
  • 1
  • 228
Stray (2014)

H
Stray (2014)

  • 7
  • 2
  • 215
Time #2

Time #2

  • 1
  • 0
  • 131

Recent Classifieds

Forum statistics

Threads
181,882
Messages
2,516,641
Members
95,434
Latest member
Cyanotypeworld
Recent bookmarks
1

Kodachromeguy

Subscriber
Joined
Nov 3, 2016
Messages
1,550
Location
Vicksburg, Mississippi
Shooter
Multi Format
Hi Folks,
In October, I looked around the unused railroad station at Corinth, Greece. This old station is for the former 1-meter gauge train that ran from Athens to the Peloponnese. It has been superseded by the new Athens Suburban Train, which uses a totally different station. I have been to the old Corinth station before with digital, but this time I decided to try color and mono film:
1. Color: Ektar 100 in a Yashica Electro 35CC with 35mm f/1.8 lens. Most with polarizer.
2. B&W: Fujifilm Acros in my Leica M2 with 35mm f/2 Summicron lens. Polarizer or yellow filter.
Film developed in Xtol by Praus Productions, Rochester, NY. (Note, I have not cleaned up lint and specks yet.)

I took similar scenes as a comparison between full color (somewhat exaggerated because of the brilliant Greek light and a polarizer filter) and B&W. What do you think? Which works best for this setting? Which says urban decay more effectively? Thanks!!

(I updated the last two black and whites with cleaned files)


20181020g_RRstation-Corinth_resize.JPG
20181020g_RRsta-Corinth-bw_resize.JPG
20181020b_RRstation-Corinth_resize.JPG
20181020c_RRyard-Corinth-bw_cleaned_resize.JPG
20181020f_RRstation-Corinth_resize.JPG
20181020f_RRyard-Corinth-bw_cleaned_resize.JPG




View attachment 211141 View attachment 211142 View attachment 211143 View attachment 211144 View attachment 211145 View attachment 211146
 
Last edited:

pentaxuser

Subscriber
Joined
May 9, 2005
Messages
16,829
Location
Daventry, No
Shooter
35mm
My first reaction which is what I believe you get from viewers of pictures in a gallery is that in the first two the B&W wins, In the third I am not so sure. I think I see things this way because the B&W plays down the Summer look that colour gives you. It brightens the viewer's mood which isn't what you want in such scenes

pentaxuser
 

markjwyatt

Subscriber
Joined
Apr 26, 2018
Messages
2,130
Location
Southern California
Shooter
Multi Format
My first reaction which is what I believe you get from viewers of pictures in a gallery is that in the first two the B&W wins, In the third I am not so sure. I think I see things this way because the B&W plays down the Summer look that colour gives you. It brightens the viewer's mood which isn't what you want in such scenes

pentaxuser

I agree overall with that sentiment, and in the case of the third the color of the rust is a plus for the color.
 

removed account4

Subscriber
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
Messages
29,850
Shooter
Hybrid
If the black and whites were more "gritty" I would say the black and whites,
but the color images show the deterioration of the site as it is fading away, the metal is oxidizing
buildings are falling apart and getting covered in graffiti ... nice-stuff !
 

MattKing

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2005
Messages
41,518
Location
Delta, BC, Canada
Shooter
Multi Format
Colour for me, but I would play a bit (excuse the artistic license)

upload_2018-11-13_16-12-17.png
 

pentaxuser

Subscriber
Joined
May 9, 2005
Messages
16,829
Location
Daventry, No
Shooter
35mm
I'll give "evens" that the vote will be 50/50 :D Short of getting 100s to vote then there is no likelihood of a statistically significant vote.
pentaxuser
 

tezzasmall

Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2013
Messages
1,115
Location
Southend on Sea Essex UK
Shooter
Plastic Cameras
Given the choice of B/W and colour to look at, for me it's definitely the colour ones that win. All that 'lovely' rust, decay and colourful foliage are recorded in the colour ones. Shown only the B/W you would have gotten a different answer! :smile:

It looks like a lovely station, so it's a real shame to see it slowly dying. :sad:

Terry S
 

msage

Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2003
Messages
433
Location
Washington State
Shooter
Large Format
B&W, hands done!
 
OP
OP
Kodachromeguy

Kodachromeguy

Subscriber
Joined
Nov 3, 2016
Messages
1,550
Location
Vicksburg, Mississippi
Shooter
Multi Format
Given the choice of B/W and colour to look at, for me it's definitely the colour ones that win. All that 'lovely' rust, decay and colourful foliage are recorded in the colour ones. Shown only the B/W you would have gotten a different answer! :smile:

It looks like a lovely station, so it's a real shame to see it slowly dying. :sad:

Terry S
Oh, sorry, I should have written in the original post that the handsome mid-century railroad terminal building is not abandoned. I saw modern computers and office furniture inside, so someone is using it as office space. It may have been painted since I last visited the site in 2011. But, as you can see, the rail yard is clearly unused. Here are my 2011 photographs in digital:

https://worldofdecay.blogspot.com/2012/02/athens-to-peloponnese-railroad-station.html
 
Last edited:

Sirius Glass

Subscriber
Joined
Jan 18, 2007
Messages
43,790
Location
Southern California
Shooter
Multi Format
That is an easy one to answer: bring a color film back and a black & white film back and plenty of film. If you are of the 35mm persuasion carry a color body and a black & white body.
 

Pentode

Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2017
Messages
959
Location
Brooklyn, NY
Shooter
Multi Format
Well, my answer to "which says urban decay more effectively" is definitely B&W but my answer to "which works best for this setting" is color, hands down.
Under normal circumstances I prefer B&W for this type of shooting, but the colors and the light in these photos work great in color and I much prefer the look of the color shots to the B&W in this instance.
Very nice shooting either way!
 

trendland

Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2012
Messages
3,410
Shooter
Medium Format
Hi Folks,
In October, I looked around the unused railroad station at Corinth, Greece. This old station is for the former 1-meter gauge train that ran from Athens to the Peloponnese. It has been superseded by the new Athens Suburban Train, which uses a totally different station. I have been to the old Corinth station before with digital, but this time I decided to try color and mono film:
1. Color: Ektar 100 in a Yashica Electro 35CC with 35mm f/1.8 lens. Most with polarizer.
2. B&W: Fujifilm Acros in my Leica M2 with 35mm f/2 Summicron lens. Polarizer or yellow filter.
Film developed in Xtol by Praus Productions, Rochester, NY. (Note, I have not cleaned up lint and specks yet.)

I took similar scenes as a comparison between full color (somewhat exaggerated because of the brilliant Greek light and a polarizer filter) and B&W. What do you think? Which works best for this setting? Which says urban decay more effectively? Thanks!!

(I updated the last two black and whites with cleaned files)


View attachment 211151 View attachment 211152 View attachment 211153 View attachment 211154 View attachment 211155 View attachment 211156



View attachment 211141 View attachment 211142 View attachment 211143 View attachment 211144 View attachment 211145 View attachment 211146

Sorry to state - it isn't against you so pls. don't feel bad - but it is just in generally concern. That is exactly what I do not like (sometimes "hate") to shot a photograph and later decision is from this type : " Woul that not be a nice bw shot ?????""

So what : Why have that not been a nice bw shot.?

with regards

PS : The decision of making bw or making color has to be made before shooting ! From many many reasons.
But today it is allways in opposite direction die to digital : That : " come on we cancel color and finish it in bw " is the possible death of bw Photography if you ASK me !

PPS : If we would play it from a total different LOOK and we would use your photographs as a describtion of a shooting location (a so called "lay out") and you would ask :
Shooting in bw or better in color - my tendency would go in direction of color - but T H E N
I would had shot it most different !

PPPS : Don't feel bad now - from my point it makes no sence to tell you : " nice picture a.s.o."
therefore it is sometimes from advantage no to beat around the bush !
 

Ste_S

Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2017
Messages
396
Location
Birmingham, UK
Shooter
Multi Format
If the black and whites were more "gritty" I would say the black and whites,
but the color images show the deterioration of the site as it is fading away, the metal is oxidizing
buildings are falling apart and getting covered in graffiti ... nice-stuff !

Yup, my thoughts exactly. The B&W photos are too flat and clean for the subject. The colour ones capture the decay better with Ektar doing the job of boosting the reds in the rust.
 

ic-racer

Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2007
Messages
13,055
Location
USA
Shooter
Multi Format
The advantage of B&W has always been contrast control. With color, contrast control is difficult without complex masking. You B&W prints are ok but they don't necessarily do justice to the medium. In fact they kind of look like de-colorized versions of the color images.
 

J 3

Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2016
Messages
147
Shooter
Medium Format
If there were more bright graffiti then I would have said color, but here I think b&w it better here. I would manipulate it like a split grade printer would though. Darker sky. A lot more contrast in the rusty bits in my opinion. The grass texture in the bottom one is fairly uniform and distracting from the subject. I'd go darker on it, but really pull out the highlights on the white crushed rocks near the tracks and the subject as well. Cool photos.
 

pentaxuser

Subscriber
Joined
May 9, 2005
Messages
16,829
Location
Daventry, No
Shooter
35mm
Kodachromeguy, try what has been suggested in terms of contrast and J3's suggestions, if you are still interested in our views and shows us the results. I think the current B&W "prints" reflect the scene as it was on the day very accurately but for the full effect B&W can give the suggested tweaking may be beneficial.

pentaxuser
 

NB23

Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2009
Messages
4,257
Shooter
35mm
BW are super boring. Color adds some excitement.
 

Arklatexian

Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2014
Messages
1,778
Location
Shreveport,
Shooter
Multi Format
My first reaction which is what I believe you get from viewers of pictures in a gallery is that in the first two the B&W wins, In the third I am not so sure. I think I see things this way because the B&W plays down the Summer look that colour gives you. It brightens the viewer's mood which isn't what you want in such scenes

pentaxuser
+1, Well said......Regards!
 

Toyo

Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2015
Messages
233
Location
Mid North Coast NSW - Oz
Shooter
Medium Format
I am going to sound out of kilter with most other posters here, but the colour wins hands down for me. I don't say this lightly as I work mostly in monochrome - and here are my reasons.
The black and white images look flat and two dimensional to me - especially the first two - while the colour images for those show both 3D and pop in their presentation.
Perhaps the last pair are too close to call in that area.
The colours themselves are bright but understated, and reflect the type of light often found in Greece.
If I had to choose from these to make prints for a wall display, I would choose the colour versions exclusively.
Well done by the way
Tom
 
OP
OP
Kodachromeguy

Kodachromeguy

Subscriber
Joined
Nov 3, 2016
Messages
1,550
Location
Vicksburg, Mississippi
Shooter
Multi Format
Hi Everyone, thanks for your observations. I have modified the black and white frames in Photoshop. I increased the contrast in the mid-tones to make them look a bit more "gritty." I realize one problem with the Corinth rail yard was that with the gorgeous Greek light and clear blue sky, it was not very gritty. And the film I was using, Fuji Acros, is remarkably fine grain, so the old-time look of a coarse high speed film was not there. Trendland, if I understand you correctly, you were recommending that I decide ahead of time on what film to use at a site. You are right; normally I do that. But on this day, I wanted to use up my color and B&W film before departing Greece for my flight back to USA. And, I must say, the colors of the rust, blue sky, and straw-colored dry grass jumped out at me.

20181020c_RRyard-Corinth-bw_cleaned-adj_resize.JPG
20181020g_RRsta-Corinth-bw_cleaned_resize.JPG
20181020f_RRyard-Corinth-bw_cleaned_resize.JPG
20181020d_RRyard-Corinth-bw_cleaned_resize.JPG
20181020e_RailCar-Corinth-bw_cleaned_resize.JPG
 

pentaxuser

Subscriber
Joined
May 9, 2005
Messages
16,829
Location
Daventry, No
Shooter
35mm
Thanks for the modified "prints", Kodachromeguy. Overall I think that these have more impact. I doubt if they will change anyone's mind about colour v B&W. I still think that the original B&W prints still probably reflect the scene more accurately but in B&W less accuracy in lots of scenes may be better. Harsh sunlight de-saturates but this works in colour's favour or more accurately affects colour less adversely than in B&W.

On balance "thin gruel" ( lack of meatiness) affects B&W more harshly than colour

pentaxuser
 
Photrio.com contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.
To read our full affiliate disclosure statement please click Here.

PHOTRIO PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Ilford ADOX Freestyle Photographic Stearman Press Weldon Color Lab Blue Moon Camera & Machine
Top Bottom