By Laura | 08th August 2018

Colour canvas prints or mono? How to decide…

Do you decide beforehand to shoot your photos for mono or colour canvas prints, or is that a decision you make in post-production? 

This question is one that photographers - even quite advanced ones - struggle to find a definitive answer to, but we’re going to demystify it for you in our quick guide to choosing your colour palette.

When colour works best for canvas prints

The beauty of colour is that it’s so vibrant and eye-catching that it can be used to convey an array of different moods and experiences. The natural colours of the light you shoot in help to tell a story – for example, the time of day the image was shot, or even the time of year! It is possible to create a beautiful autumnal landscape with a black and white image, but why would you do that when all of the colours of the season create such a spectacular canvas print?  

When you plan your day with your camera (say, on a photo walk), think about the quality of the colours in the images and whether they’re integral to the story because that’s when colour canvas prints really have the WOW factor!

Black and white for texture and tone

It’s often suggested that mono gives an image a timeless quality, but we don’t think that’s one of the major reasons to choose it for your canvas print. No, mono provides a far different impact to colour simply because it’s one further step removed from reality (unless you see in black and white!) and makes the viewer concentrate on the tonal quality of the image.  

Mono can be used to concentrate the mind on the subject when the colour in the shot is a distraction, but it's crucial to think about the final outcome while you're shooting for full effectiveness. Scenes with lots of tonal difference and very strong black and white points tend to work well in mono – but only if you know how to convert them effectively, because it’s not as simple as pressing a button and sending it to us to print!  

Post processing a black and white shot is far more involved than a colour shot because the tonal range within the shot allows for so much artistic license, but with a little practice it can be incredibly rewarding.  

As with all photographic choices, it’s really down to you to decide what looks best, but we hope that this simple guide will help you to make great decisions over whether to have colour canvas prints or mono on your walls.


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