Thursday, May 30, 2013

Paris in Black and White

Paris bridge

In case I've failed to mention it (ha!), my husband and I recently returned from a week-long trip to Paris. By ourselves. Without our children. It was fabulous.

bicycles available to rent in Paris

view of the Louvre through the window clock at Musee d'Orsay

religious statue in the crypt at Sacre Coeur

I had never been to Paris and was thrilled to finally see the Louvre and to visit the Musee d'Orsay, where I will be living if I ever run away from home. When we weren't looking at art, I was taking photos. Other than an occasional "Move it along, Ansel Adams," my husband was incredibly patient with my need to wander off, stop in the middle of the sidewalk, or veer widely for a photograph.

my husband looking in a shop window with street reflections

Eiffel Tower sparkling lights on the hour

Paris bridge and Eiffel Tower

Yesterday, I posted some of my favorite color photos from the trip, many of which were taken at sunset on our last night in Paris. Unfortunately, the weather was fairly craptacular while we were in Paris--mid-50s with unpredictable intermittent downpours, so everything was rather gray most of the time.

view of gargoyle and city of Paris from the top of Notre Dame Cathedral

woman begging on stone steps in Paris

Because I viewed Paris in shades of gray, I think many of my photos look better in black and white. I also find that black and white better emphasizes architectural elements, and I couldn't get enough of the arches, pillars, and flying buttresses (is there a better term than flying buttress?).

arches in the crypt of Sacre Coeur

fence posts in the rain at Sacre Coeur

graffitied pillars at the top of Sacre Coeur

I developed a couple photographic fixations while in Paris, and the street lamps were one of them. It was easy to envision them as the gas lamps they once were.

lighted street lamps outside the Louvre at night

My other fixation, which you've probably noticed, was the window clock at the Musee d'Orsay. We were there late in the evening, and the crowds had diminished enough to snap an occasional unobstructed view of the clock. While I had the camera poised, waiting for this couple to move out of the way, he leaned down and kissed her on the head. Thanks, fellow tourists, for the beautiful moment.

couple kissing in front of the window clock at Musee d'Orsay

Take a look at yesterday's post and let me know if you prefer the color or black and white set. I go back and forth. Had I not caught that one golden sunset hour on the last night, I would vote black and white, but I'm now torn.

Which among the black and white photos do you prefer? Thanks to all of you who commented with feedback yesterday. I love hearing your opinions.

*     *     *

This is the 200th post at Flotsam of the Mind. I cannot get my head around that idea. Thanks for spending time with me here.


  1. I'm a huge fan of black and white photos for architecture. When I have tried it with my food photos, it never has the same effect :) Your photos look great, I love the clock!

    1. For food photos, color is a must! I don't have a macro lens so don't do much of that yet. Oh, and I don't cook much worth photographing. :)

  2. So, I like both the color and the black & white for different things. Of these my favorites are of course the couple in front of the clock, but also the row of bicycles and the street lamps. The couple by the clock is reminiscent of French photographer Robert Doisneau's work such as: