The Light of Fonthill Castle

On Sunday, I was leading a workshop at Fonthill Castle in Doylestown PA.  One of the participants beckoned me to come see a shot she was excited about. I had to get my camera and make an image of my own!  Thank you Lois.

I’ve been in a B&W frame of mind and so I made a version of this scene.  What do you think?  Color or B&W and why?





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  1. ellery November 15, 2016 at 10:09 am #

    I like the color image better.

  2. Bruce Sorrell November 15, 2016 at 10:14 am #

    Those are both excellent images, John ! As to which version is best I think it depends on your original intent. I don’t recall what photographer came up with this notion…but I like it. “Color captures what you saw, while B&W captures how it felt.” So I’ll commit voter fraud and vote for both of them. : )) Slainte !

    • JB November 15, 2016 at 5:46 pm #

      Very safe Bruce! 🙂 thanks.

  3. Steve L November 15, 2016 at 10:25 am #

    Ooohhh. Normally, my inclination is b&w. But this color image is so interesting with all the texture and shades of color. I’ll go with color this time.
    (Though I definitely like the b&w image, too…of course.)

    • JB November 15, 2016 at 5:46 pm #

      Thanks for your input Steve!

  4. Gary Kohn November 15, 2016 at 10:30 am #

    John, having been to Fonthill with you, I am more inclined to go with the color version, as I think it more accurately and convincingly portrays the amazing detail in tiles, etc. that were used in the construction of this amazing house.

    • JB November 15, 2016 at 5:47 pm #

      I tend to agree Gary!

  5. albert j campoli, jr November 15, 2016 at 11:50 am #

    Color. Brings out the rooms details. The B&W makes it dungeon like.

  6. Dick Henderson November 15, 2016 at 12:47 pm #

    Definitely the B&W. There is a lot of detail to look at in both images. The colors in the books and bookshelves distracts the eye and holds the eye outside and away from the light play at the heart of the image. In B&W the generally level grays of those same books and shelves do not distract from the main bright central sunbeam through the window.

    • JB November 15, 2016 at 5:47 pm #

      Always good to have a dissenting view! 🙂

  7. Scott Oberle November 15, 2016 at 3:02 pm #

    Good question JB…sort of like asking which of your grandkids do you prefer!

    • JB November 15, 2016 at 5:48 pm #

      Charlotte… um… Abby! No, Austin… no… Abby… no…. hum, you’re right!

  8. Donnie November 15, 2016 at 6:53 pm #

    Hey JB! You know I tend to like color, the more vibrant the better. However in this case I like the BW version much better. The subject to me is the window shadow and the weight of that is greatly enhanced in the BW version. For it to work in color it would have to be a much darker/shadowy image to draw the eye back to the subject. Just my two cents.

    • JB November 15, 2016 at 7:15 pm #

      Well there ya go! Donnie the rebel! 🙂

  9. Marilyn Menago November 15, 2016 at 7:04 pm #

    I do a lot of B&W, but for this image I like the color better. Since I was there with you, I know how wonderful the colors of the tiles are. You don’t see that in B&W. Just sayin’!!

    • JB November 15, 2016 at 7:15 pm #

      And I tend to agree, but I like to see what others think and feel.

  10. Rebecca Cook November 15, 2016 at 7:21 pm #

    Color. There is so much unique detail, your eye can rest on each item, and take it in. The B&W sort of lets your eye slide right through it without anything to grab onto.

    • JB November 15, 2016 at 11:08 pm #

      Thank you Rebecca.

  11. Stephan Dietrich November 15, 2016 at 7:49 pm #

    Love the light! Rather a “red carpet” inviting you, your image captures the path of light to guide you within. Both make beautiful strong images! The color captures the “as is” of the present moment and flow of colors. The b&w offers an aged image and classic time as well as a spirit of Fonthill Castle. So, depending on what you wish to portray as the artist and showing of your subject, both images speak volumes! Great work JB!

    • JB November 15, 2016 at 11:08 pm #

      Always appreciate your input Stephan.

  12. Anne Forbes November 15, 2016 at 9:29 pm #

    Hard to choose, but I come down on the side of B&W. There are so many different materials and so much texture that I feel the image deserves to make a statement without colour.

    • JB November 15, 2016 at 11:07 pm #

      Good feedback Anne. Thank you!

  13. Rene Born November 16, 2016 at 10:25 am #

    I liked both, but I felt the B&H got a better mood.

    • JB November 16, 2016 at 10:46 am #

      Thank you for chiming in Rene. It always amazes me how people react to these type of comparisons. It just continues to solidify my feeling that there is always another right answer rather than just one.

  14. Scott November 16, 2016 at 12:05 pm #

    John, Both images are great but I actually prefer the color. The detail that is brought out in the B&W makes this image a bit too busy for me.

    • JB November 16, 2016 at 12:39 pm #

      Thanks for your input Scott.

  15. Jim McDermott November 16, 2016 at 8:45 pm #

    Color — there’s a little bit of mystery behind the column in the center (Is that a hallway? Where does it lead?) that I just didn’t get in the B&W.

    • JB November 16, 2016 at 9:45 pm #

      Thanks for your feedback Jim.

  16. Jeanne Lesperance November 17, 2016 at 7:32 am #

    Color because of the electric blue accents!

  17. LoIs mauro November 17, 2016 at 8:28 am #

    I think I like the color with all the gradations of color. But if I had only seen the black and white, I still would have said “wow”! Thank you for giving me credit for finding that particular view. I had a fantastic time at the workshop.

  18. LINDA RUSSO November 19, 2016 at 10:46 am #

    JB, Having been with you 8 times to Fonthill, I like both versions. With each visit, your vision changes and you become more open to variations of the same scene. Good seeing!

    • JB November 20, 2016 at 10:32 am #

      Thank you for your comment LInda.

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