Color photographs capture excitement, the energy of life, and the beauty in the details, while black and white images leave a sense of mystery. You might say they’re a bit moody.
New Orleans? She’s a bit of both — a lively, party city — full of life and an essence that visitors yearn to take in. She’s also a place of secrets, of lives long forgotten, a place with a rich and entangled history.
We all know that most things in the world aren’t either black or white. They’re trapped somewhere in between, captured in the grey. Black and white images capture the allure and mystery of the shades of grey. NOLA is both sugar (mmm, the soft, fluffy beignets) and spice (ohhh, the crawfish étouffée)!
There’s tremendous poverty and wealth, and there’s a lot of in-between. There’s always a plethora of live music and raucous parties, but there’s also a quiet and serene peace as you venture further away from Bourbon Street. There’s life and growth everywhere, but there are also plenty of dark reminders and decay. There are homes grand and lavish, sparkling like movie stars aglow with twinkling lights. There are forlorn and deserted dwellings long forgotten, ghosts from life before tragedy struck.
There’s a mystery to this city with it’s distinct neighborhoods and vibes. A spirit of exhilaration and delight abounds, but it walks hand-in-hand with a sense of despondency that can only come from heartbreak and misery.
To see the world in black and white is to live within the extremes. A world neatly divided between right and wrong, good and evil. New Orleans is a place that reminds me that life is more about our perceptions and outlook. It is a place where shades of grey require me to show up, be present, and dig a little deeper.
Black and white photos obscure the details. They invite us to look closer. They represent hope and despair… and everything in between, too.
“I think it’s because it was an emotional story, and emotions come through much stronger in black and white. Color is distracting in a way, it pleases the eye but it doesn’t necessarily reach the heart.” – Kim Hunter
Oh! New Orleans, you are a million shades of grey, and I long see you again soon.
Sharon and the Hero Dog
(All photos by Sharon Harvey and her constant companion, the Hero Dog.)