Monochrome Paris and my Search for Color


Monochrome Paris and my Search for Color


For me, a big part of photography is playing with light and colors, and those of you who are familiar with my blog know that I love color! To be honest, it can never too bright and colorful for me, but I do also like the quiet and subtle hues of the color palette. When I’m traveling and out on one of my photography walks, I find it exciting and inspiring to be on the look-out for certain color hues and to capture them in a picture. Thus, out of one hazy day in Paris, when it seemed as though all colors had naturally lost their brilliance and everything looked as if it was covered with a misty veil, came a whole photo series in difference shades of white.




Again and again on my way through Paris, my eye and my camera, too, were drawn to anything non-color, or monochrome. In reality, of course, white is not actually uncolored. White is the total sum of all colors and yet it seems colorless to us. Fascinating isn’t it? I was thinking that for impressionist painters white was a non-color. Impressionism, which had its origin here in France, tried above all things to catch the light and in doing so, the color white was its most important stylistic device. Well, on this day the non-color white was to be the most important design tool for my photography.




When I looked through my pictures of Paris some time later, I was fascinated once again by the effect colors can have and how their symbolism influences the feelings of the observer. White stands for purity, for lightness, the eternal, the perfect, simplicity and reduction. However, despite all these positive associations that our culture has with this color, I find that white also always holds within itself a little bit of melancholy. Just like the misty veil over the city, a whisper of melancholy had spread over my photography.




I have a general preference for photo series that feature a particular hue. Maybe this is because I find the topic of color psychology so exciting. For while Paris might seem introverted, quiet, and melancholy on this misty day, on another day it presents itself as full of energy, vibrant, and confident. A color is able to totally change an impression. You can see this for yourself when you compare this photo series with another that was created on the same trip… it’s theme was Red! Colors have the ability to evoke emotions in a person. This power is something I like to use in my photography and it is definitely also one of the reasons why I love photo series that give the impression of a monochromatic color palette. Pictures that were designed within a color family naturally make a up a harmonic whole.

Why don’t you try it yourself some time? Maybe this photo series will inspire you to keep your eyes out for a particular color on your next photo walk. You will be surprised at the day-to-day details you will suddenly notice. Collect individual colors in your picture and let them have their effect on you later, when they act together as a whole. If you enjoy working with photo editing programs, you might think about the type of editing that can reinforce the atmosphere of your monochrome pictures. Maybe red will shine even more vibrantly if you increase the saturation and add a warmer color filter. And white seems purer and more delicate if you add brightness, more artificial overexposure and a cooler color filter. I am sure you will have just as much fun playing around with color as I do.

Yours, Nic

Nic Hildebrandt

Nic aka “Luzia Pimpinella” has been passionate about blogging since 2006. She loves traveling and good food. She is a freelance textile designer, compulsive do-it-yourself person, and keen photographer.

She blogs at luzia pimpinella and you can also find her on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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