Downtown YYC: Paint it black

I have never been a big fan of black and white (B&W) photography, perhaps because I am more of a futurist than a historian. For most, B&W photos are associated with old photographs, so it is not surprising that when we see a black and white photo it looks historic.  Contrastingly, colour photography is associated with new technology, we are surrounded by vivid images everywhere we look, particularly with our high resolution computer and TV screens. 

I am not a professional photographer, but over the years I have received lots of complements about the photography that accompanies the Everyday Tourist blogs.  However, I also love to experiment, so I thought it might be fun to play with B&W photos of one of my favourite places to flaneur – downtown Calgary. 

 Surprises

 I was surprised at how the B&W images immediately changed the sense of place buildings, corners and streets that I am very familiar with.  It was like unearthing a whole new world.  The images were more dramatic, more sinister and more surreal. The skies in particular became more ominous. The narrative seemed to be stronger. My imagination was immediately engaged.

I couldn’t believe how the light changed the entire compositions.  The lines and shapes became more compelling.  Overall the photographs become more like drawings or etchings, rather than paintings or silk-screens or my previous photography. 

As I continued to experiment with darker and lighter images, I was hooked.  Not only did I discover a new technique for visualizing urban spaces and places, but I also developed a new appreciation for the charm of my downtown.

I hope you enjoy the results of my experimentation. As always, comments are welcomed. 

The Bow Tower takes on a whole new appearance looking up from the +15 bridge. 

Love this playground of sunlight on Stephen Avenue Walk at noon hour as it bounces off the glass of the buildings and surface of the prehistoric or futuristic sculptures. 

The +15 bridges create some surreal sensations that one would never see in everyday colour images. 

The +15 bridges create some surreal sensations that one would never see in everyday colour images. 

Some how the design of this trestle bridge seems enhanced in black and white. 

Some how the design of this trestle bridge seems enhanced in black and white. 

It is hard to believe this is 7th Avenue at noon hour. There is a raw beauty to 7th Avenue that I have never seen before.

It is hard to believe this is 7th Avenue at noon hour. There is a raw beauty to 7th Avenue that I have never seen before.

The juxtaposition of the Bow Tower in the pillars of the historic Public Building was barely visible in the colour images. In b&w the texture and pattern in the columns is revealed. 

The juxtaposition of the Bow Tower in the pillars of the historic Public Building was barely visible in the colour images. In b&w the texture and pattern in the columns is revealed. 

This reflection in the Hudson's Bay window of the Brookfield Place construction was only mediocre in colour but in b&w it became haunting. 

This reflection in the Hudson's Bay window of the Brookfield Place construction was only mediocre in colour but in b&w it became haunting. 

I love the narrative in this image. 

I love the narrative in this image. 

Parking Ramp
Bow Plaza