I remember as a little girl looking through my mother’s photos of her family. I looked at her and said, “Mom, I am so sorry that you did not have color when you were growing up.” I assumed that the world was in black and white because that’s what the photos looked like. A world devoid of color other than black, white, and gray was less than. I expended all of my 5 year-old empathy skills in feeling the sadness of a world that really didn’t exist.

My husband and I share many interests, one of them is photography. When I met John, he did his own photo developing, in the bathroom of his apartment. He had taken black and white photos for many years. I was more of a Technicolor type person. I shot my photos with color film. This, my friends, was back in the day when people were enslaved to the choice of black and white vs. color. We took a five week long honeymoon to Italy and to Egypt. We both took about 2500 photos. My honeymoon was in color. John’s was in black and white. Both trips were amazing and beautiful.

With digital photography, things changed. Switching between color and black and white was accomplished in a single key stroke. Nonetheless, I found myself NEVER looking at my photos in black and white.

I don’t dislike black and white photography. My husband, whom I adore, has taken wonderful black and white photography. I love Imogen Cunningham, Alfred Stieiglitz, Ansel Adams, and Man Ray. I love their work. But I never saw the absence of color as being MY best way of showcasing the world.

I love color. I love blooming, buzzing, and confusing color. Bright and saturated hues that might scare ordinary mortals. That is what I am drawn to and I  would hope that this this reflects my blooming and vibrant personality.

Then it happened. I was CHALLENGED on FACEBOOK to showcase black and white photography by someone with whom I attended high school.

I love a good challenge and this was an interesting one But my first thought was, “No color, oh no.” But again, I love a good challenge s it was not hard to shift from my “oh no” in the space of about 5 seconds.

I love color, I really do. It is seductive. It’s just gloriously beautiful. But without it, there is an upsurge of form, light, shadow, and line.  I started looking at my photos stripped of color.

It was like discovering a new universe, a universe comprised of an even smaller collection of essentials.

DSC01822 (2)

DSC01841 (2)


DSC01117 (2)

DSC01646 (3)

I am an extroverted person. I love color, I love sound, I love movement. But I am more than that. Life it more than the exclamation points, more than the aspects that are easily noted. My life has structure, line, and light. There is gravitas and a lot of it.

Sometimes I live life too much on the edges, on the flourishes. Then I get the message from life that it is time to strip away, to get back to basics.

I am listening.

I am seeing.