Noir et Blanc

Today’s photos do not display la vie en couleur. I was listening to Nouvelle Vague as I was uploading to my computer, and their music told me that these photos really needed to be in black and white… So here is a little bit of a change!

I took these in Orléans at the beginning of November as I was on my way to Goujounac (a tiny medieval town in the Midi-Pyrénées.) I was only in Orléans for a few hours, but I look forward to returning another time, if not only to stare dumbstruck at the gothic Cathédrale Sainte-Croix. (There are a lot of extraordinarily built Cathedrals and churches in France, but this one’s immensity and silence particularly affected me. Perhaps it was the combination of being the only visitor on the inside and that I was imagining the incredible amount of physical labor and faith that the construction of such a structure must have required…Especially since it was rebuilt at least 6 times if I remember correctly…due to destruction by the Normans, the Protestants, WWII and some earlier events that I’m forgetting).

The rest of my time in Orléans was also well spent. I went to a salon de thé; I got a free treat for asking if I could take a picture of the pastries (I certainly will remember this…!); I took a walk along the Loire river… And I still made it back to the train station in time!

Take a glimpse:


13 thoughts on “Noir et Blanc

  1. i agree with you that some situations cry out loud for color, some for noir et blanc. If, for example, you are shooting a forest scene, where everything is different greens, if you strip out the color you’ll get a much more accurate idea of the color range.

    Pictures that are primarily yellow respond very well to black-and-white conversion or treatment.

    In some cases, color is a distraction from the essence of the image. In other cases, it IS the image. It’s up to you, the photographer, to figure it out.

    This is just a blog response, so i can’t include images to illustrate my point. But I would invite you to consider each of the pictures in this collection and double check with yourself: is there enough tonal range in the image to make it succeed as a black and white? How does it compare to the color version of the same image?

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