We have now become so conditioned to seeing just about everything in colour in this century that black and white photography seems to automatically make things look like something from the past. I thought it might be fun to take a little walk around Paris today and only photograph things in black and white or sepia. I didn't make any effort to eliminate anything modern from the photos because just losing the colour in enough to send us back in time. I took all of the photos in just the 3rd and 10th arrondissements, but some day I might see about making a collection of the iconic sights of the city in black and white.
The Guimard metro entrances automatically send everyone back a hundred years...
I like the photos and think this a good idea. Your black and whites, which seem to be sharper, appeal to me more than the sepia tone. I especially like the photos featuring one or two individuals, like the street with the lone person. It's so tempting to always shoot in color, but black and white can be stunning and focus more on detail of shape and form. One of my favorite personal photos is of an ivy covered house in the Mouzaïa that I changed to black and white. I hope you will plan to feature more areas of Paris in this way, Kerouac.
Black and white photography is still a very important genre. Not too long ago, before my daughter graduated from the university with a degree in fine arts, she was required to successfully complete a course in black and white photography technique.
Frankly, I would say that that is because of the age of the professors. It will be interesting to see the situation in another 20 or 30 years. Perhaps by then people will say that 2D photography is still an interesting quirk for the oldies even though 3D has long since replaced it.
In any case, it is good to keep it all alive, because I would venture to say that black and white photography represents well under 1% of photographs taken now, probably more like 0.1% -- with perhaps a tiny resurgence due to our digital camera or photo tinkering tools that let us play with the colours.
I also amused myself with a few "selective colour" shots.
While the "old movie" mood is working, and if I may piggy-back one of my own from some years ago, I can't help imagining it into a film scenario: the shy, self-contained locksmith yearns for the stiff unbending corsetière next door, until one day he discovers her secret and finds the key to her heart (or, if you prefer that sort of movie, unlocks her combinations)
Fabulous pics, Patrick. so moody with undertones of something bad about to happen. I could just about hear a zither playing the "Third Man" theme I also prefer B&W rather than sepia...more crisp and details stand out better. Sepia good for portraits as it gives a warmer look.
Travel! Set out and head for pastures new[br] Life tastes the richer when you’ve road worn feet.[br]Ibn Battuta[br]
Patrick, yours is excellent, and it takes much more to offend me than adding a photo or being confused with someone else. However, your photo reminds me of a very unhappy story concerning one of my colleagues. At the age of 25, she was diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis (due to a combination of birth control pills + smoking) and spent 2 months in a hospital with a very worrisome prognosis. When she was finally released, she was sent to that store at 234 rue du Faubourg Saint Martin, which sells medical corsets and compression stockings, among the other delights. She told us that she came out of the metro at Louis Blanc and when she saw that shop, just the sight of such an old and ugly place made her burst into tears at the thought of the rest of her life.
Well, 35 years later, she is doing just fine although she still wears compression stockings, but now she is used to them.
After many decades of color photos we have become used to our photos being printed and seeing exactly what we seen through the lens the day we took it, how refreshing this must have been to see a different perspective on the same day.
What a great idea Kerouac. I happen to really love B&W. However, unlike many others who commented on their preference for the B&W's in this thread, I am really taken with the sepia toned pics. They remind me of old postcards from a particular era.