LONDON IS BLACK, WHITE & GREY ALL OVER

LONDON GREYS (2009)
LONDON GREYS (2009)

WHY IS LONDON SO GREY?

I guess this does not apply solely to London, but to a variety of British towns and cities – they are all constructed in grey tone.

Perhaps this is most noticable in London due to its immense size and the sheer number of buildings crammed into it.  I took this photo last time I was in London, eating lunch on some steps just opposite St James’ Park.

I have always been struck by the monotone look of the architecture and the inhabitants of our fair capital city.  Obviously the suit is the chosen uniform of the city and so a huge percentage of the population walk round in shades of black or grey – perhaps their tiee of if lucky, their shirt inserting an injection of colour.

But it all seems quite drab – more so on a winters day.  You can happily sit somewhere and be surrounded by different tones of grey, be passed by grey people and look up at the grey skies.

To its credit, London does OK for park spaces and tree lined streets – which give a welcome break from the singular vision.  Granted, you could argue the lights of Piccadilly are colourful – but really, that’s advertising and should never count.

Go to a city like Barcelona and you cannot escape colour.  The buildings are painted or even built in a wealth of colour.  Colourful public art fills the area and the people are an explosion of different shades.

Now of course there are exceptions to the rule in London or any other British city – but stop and look and you will notice how drab a lot of it can come accross.  Hannah often wears a variety of colours, more vibrant than the general populous of London and gets innumerable dirty looks for daring to splash some colour amongst the greys.

Is it that we are afraid to stand out or make our buildings shout out from their surroundings?

What I don’t get is that London is not a grey and drab place.  It has a huge personality and is filled with wonderfully creative and excetric people – perhaps we should begin to allow this to be reflected in our personal appearance and that of our architecture.

BLACK & WHITE PRINTING

Incidentally…

Not sure why you want to know this or there will be any interest, but you know – this is a blog, an online sketch book, some I am going to tell you anyway…

This is the first black and white print I have made in a long while – hence its not that well printed!  During the dark days (when my digital lens smashed), I returned to 35mm and shot some Black and White as I knew I could process and print it at work.

So, over the past month or so, I have processed a few of those films and done contact sheets.  Yesterday, I was trying to re-align and enlarger and thought it was the perfect chance to print one of the images to test the focus was even on the enlarger.  So here it is, for all to see!

I must say, it was great to work in the darkroom again.  Not done much of it in the past few years and its always a pleasure to have the smell of chemicals around you and be bathed in nothing but red light. (Does that sound perverted!?!?).

LETS TALK MORE ABOUT BLACK AND WHITE

Shall we?  Do you want to?

I am not sure I do – perhaps another few posts should be dedicated to this topic.

But to tease you – I am really not sure its for me these days.  I like the printing and all, but the results are never as pleasing to me as colour.  I do like Black & White street photography, but the world is in colour and that’s how I like to capture it…generally.

Perhaps I will address the B&W v Colour issue in more depth soon.  Perhaps not.

 

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