Man in a turban with a fishing net
Monochrome Madness,  People,  Photographic techniques,  Street photography,  Themed galleries

Gallery: monochrome portraits and street shots

When you photograph a man in colour, you photograph their clothes. When you photograph a man in black and white, you photograph his soul.

Ted Grant, Canadian photojournalist

I’m not sure I fully agree with the above quote, but I do think it’s true that when you look at a monochrome portrait you are most drawn to the face rather than the person’s surroundings.

It won’t come as a surprise to anyone who follows this blog that I enjoy street photography and also taking more formal portrait shots of some of the people I encounter on my travels. Although I take all my photos in colour (to give me options), I do like to experiment with monochrome when I edit. I find it can work particularly well with characterful faces. So when Brian (Equinoxio21) suggested that the portrait of a fisherman in Fort Kochi that I included in my recent The roads I take post would work well in black and white I naturally accepted the challenge. That shot is featured above and I hope you agree that it works.

But of course I couldn’t leave it there! So I pulled together some favourite people shots from recent trips, added some from slightly longer ago travels in India, and started to experiment. Here for Leanne’s Monochrome Madness are some of the more successful results.

Man in a turban with the sea behind

Another Indian fisherman, this time on a beach in Kovalam, Kerala

Man with long beard and moustache smoking a shisha

Taken at a music and dance festival in Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur

Man in a turban holding a bow

A musician at the Amber Fort, Jaipur

A security guard at a Jain temple in Jaisalmer

Man with long curly moustache wearing a uniform and turban

Man in a turban in front of a building

At the temple in Manakamana, Nepal

Carrying building materials in Bandipur, Nepal

Woman carrying a heavy sack using a band around her forehead

Elderly woman in a cardigan and small turban

In Ban Xong Ja minority village, northern Laos

A young Buddhist nun at Futarasan Shrine in Nikko, Japan

Girl with long pony tail reading

Woman sipping from a small cup

Drinking sake in Takayama, Japan

Man with a headband

On the streets of Takayama, Japan

Woman wearing a niqab (Muslim robe and head covering) at a market stall

Selling incense and frankincense in the Al Haffa souk, Salalah, Oman

Man in embroidered hat on a phone

In Muttrah fish market, Muscat, Oman

Man with stripy shirt and embroidered hat

In the market in Salalah, Oman

Our guide Hussein in Salalah’s Grand Mosque, Oman

Man in robe and a turban looking up at a building

Man in a wide-brimmed hat

And to finish, one from Colombia, taken in Guatapé


Do share your thoughts, I'd love to hear from you!