I have always loved en noir photography, A French term meaning Black and White. En noir photography is intriguing in nuanced tones that capture one's imagination while it evokes emotion. There are no distractions in Black and White as there often are in color photography. Instead just tonal subtlety allowing the mind's eye to explore the captured subject.
"Color is everything, Black and White is more"
Since last year I have been including Black and White photos amongst color snapshots in my blog posts. I've enjoyed adding an additional dimension to my posts and will continue in the mix. Recently I decided to experiment posting only Black and White photos. Not in place of my color photos on my blog, instead as an addition in something new by joining Instagram. Blogging will remain my same format, every two weeks I'll post stories woven into my photo essay and share my poetry. Earlier this week I started posting my Black and White photos onto Instagram, in an effort to share the mystery that en noir creates in emotional response.
Photo above was taken in our downstairs Laundry room. Captured on my iPhone 6S on a rainy day this week.
"When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph in Black and White, you photograph their souls!"
A photo I snapped in Philadelphia's Reading Terminal Market, a historic farmers market while John and I were food shopping. I enjoy watching people as I find observation quite interesting. Secretly writing in my mind's eye imagined details of their life stories during our brief connection in time.
I snapped this photo this past September in Lambertville, NJ during my Birthday celebration. John and I had driven there in our 1972 French car, a DS 21 Citroën. We had dinner reservations for that evening at one of our favorite French restaurants named Manon and parked outside the restaurant earlier in the day. It's fun to park right in front - French food/French car and conversation unfolds.
Late afternoon while antiquing we walked back to our car to put some bags in the trunk noticing this elderly gent near our car. My mind raced with query, could this guy think he's a dapper dresser, is he striking a pose? Hand on his face, legs crossed, he was pondering a thought. I couldn't resist taking this photo en noir capturing that moment in time.
Flowers when viewed in Black and White allow your mind's eye to color in its own floral hues. Your imagination creates the color you perceive.
When I shared my poem I wrote for this post with John he said "it's deep, like you, but interesting". So below is my poetry that expresses and explains my love of Black and White photography.
In Black and White...
There is mystery and intrigue layered in dimension within my minds perception versus the actual reality
A photographers awareness expressed and captured to promote exploration of the subject revealed in neutrality
In Black and White...
Excitement stimulates my imagination and I indulge in fanciful stories through observation enticed by the tonality
Emotions are conveyed and feelings portrayed for those who take the time to perceive the potentiality
In Black and White...
Interest increases in the tonal values and implied sentiments captured that seem to evoke sensuality
But photographed in both color and Black and White and then compared it becomes a nuanced subject depicted in duality.
Photo is of a 32 inch standing Chinese Acupuncture Buddha on our Dining room's credenza. Once used for training in the acupuncture points it's hand carved out of a solid block of wood. I was fascinated when I found him.
Around Buddhas neck I've draped vintage rosaries from family members who have passed. I hold great reverence for rosaries that have been blessed and used in prayer, especially from loved ones. As I pass by during the day I feel the peaceful energy each rosary holds.
One rosary is from John's Uncle George who passed at age 103. A blessed rosary given to him from Pope John Paul ll, its crystals are Red. Its the Red one that is noticed first, as a designer I know eye goes to color. Yet when photographed in Black and White there are no color distractions competing for attention. Instead the photo clearly shows the acupuncture points and the writing markings of each. Personally I feel studying a subject through Black and White enables the mind's eye to appreciate the subject in whole.
After we brought Buddha home that weekend a friend came over for dinner, an antiques junkie but not someone who collects Buddhas. As the evening progressed food and wine was enjoyed. During desert he suggested that the next party we host we should place Buddha on the Dining room table and put toothpicks with hors-d'oeuvres in the acupuncture points. Seriously hors- d'oeuvres ... I don't think so!
Photo taken on Halloween evening on my visit to the bathroom. We dined at Lily's on the Canal in Lambertville, NJ. Lily's is located in a rustic picturesque historic building on the Delaware Canal. Lily's is a favorite restaurant of ours, offering an eclectic inventive menu. Dining within the preserved integrity of the buildings original charm. Inside modern funky lighting design combines with the old architecture. I took this photo en noir, lending a haunting Halloween charm of the handmade candle stick illuminating the old stones walls that have been in spots patched with rough cement.
I took this photo at twilight during the Popes visit to Philadelphia in September, 2015. The sky holds mystery and intrigue and many different things have been spotted in the clouds by many people including us. I had included this photo in a past post and because its dramatic in Black and White it has an encore presentation!
A peek into our sitting room seen reflected in an antique mirror that replaced the original glass of the antique salvaged shutter. The shutter was gifted to me by my son who was working on a remodeling of a 200 year old farmhouse in Buck's County, PA. The wood had taken on a gorgeous weathered texture and it is a very interesting décor wall piece. I love reflections photographed in Black and White allowing your mind to explore the contrast in its tonality.
A flickering candle on my countertop the other evening. A re-wined soy candle poured into a recycled Green glass wine bottle that I placed into a rustic chicken wire holder.
"Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness."
Photo taken en noir of Marcel our French Bull dog who happens to be our watchdog! He's made, OK was born in France, has flocked hair and is a bobble head.
I appreciate your visits to rowhomesandcobblestones and the sweet comments you leave for me. I love reading each and every one of them. I am taking a month long blogging break, I need one desperately, it's been a year since I took a break. I will return back to Blog Land in June. During my break I will not post nor visit any blogs, but I will be posting my Black and White photos on Instagram. I hope when you get a chance you check them out. A link to my Instagram account is on the blogs sidebar. Click the icon and it will take you there. See you back here in June.