Paris in monochrome

Despite being a "big color" guy, I'm really digging monochromes!

A cafe I came across one evening in Paris

The famous Shakespeare and Company bookstore... that gentleman just happened to walk up while I was prepping for my shot.

Paris is an absolutely gorgeous city.  I know, that is not exactly news to anyone.  We all know it’s gorgeous, whether we have been there or not.  You see great photos from Paris, you read things about how beautiful Paris is, and so on.  It’s not a secret.

But now that I am crafting more of my images in black and white - using Tonality from Macphun - I am revisiting many of my previous shots of different cities and recreating them as monochrome images - and they look stunning.  It has given me a new lease on life, photographically speaking, and I am really enjoying delving further into this colorless art form.

Standing in the middle of the Champs Elysees one evening, with cars racing by - yeah, probably not safe.

The Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, which sits just outside of the Louvre (not to be confused with the bigger and more famous Arc de Triomphe).

My first post like this was this one about London.  I really like how many of those came out.  So, I thought I would try it again, but this time with Paris.  Paris is always a good idea, right?  Right!  Honestly, I find everything about Paris beautiful.  I have taken pictures of the most basic stuff there, but for some reason I find it beautiful.  Call it the Paris effect, I guess.

To me, part of the beauty of Paris is in the vibrant colors that I have witnessed there.  Whether it’s a sunset, a landmark, a museum, or something else, to me Paris is a very colorful city, so although I knew I wanted to create a bunch of monochromes of Paris, it almost seemed weird to do so.  It seemed like I was going against the identity of the city.  

But I learned one thing in the process - Paris looks pretty stunning in black and white, too!

Notre Dame one afternoon

Inside the Musee d'Orsay, which is a fabulous museum and which was once a train station.  So beautiful there!

Shopping at the bookstore

That’s one reason I am glad that I have broken with my old habit of only doing things in color.  You really do discover not just new things about your images when you convert to black and white, but you discover new things about yourself, too.  I honestly had NO IDEA WHATSOEVER that I would develop a serious taste for black and white images.  I mean, look at my work back over the years.  The main constant thread through all of it is that they are colorful.

But before I started experimenting with the techniques myself, I really had no idea how stunning a black and white photograph could be.  Well, I did have an idea because I have seen plenty of them, but I guess I just never took the time to try it out on my own images.  I have long admired beautiful monochromes that I see online, shot by friends or strangers. 

I’m glad that I am finally exploring this art form for myself.  I feel like a kid let that has been loose in a candy store for the first time, and the only cost of entry is having Tonality by Macphun!

The Arc de Triomphe - yes, I pushed this one pretty far, but it feels like you can do that with a black and white and get away with it better than with color.

Try Tonality out for yourself - for free!

I hope you enjoy these images as much as I enjoyed creating them.  Truthfully, most of these were done with very minor adjustments in Tonality - I just chose a preset and applied it.  Simple, right?  I plan to do more posts like this in the future, and of course am open to any feedback.  I’m not as confident in my monochromes as I am in my traditional color photo work, but I’m getting there.  You don't get better unless you do something, right?

If you have not yet tried Tonality by Macphun, I highly recommend that you download a free trial and give it a test drive.  It is very easy to use (like all their products) but it's incredibly powerful as well.  There is SO MUCH you can do with it, and I am also working on a post which will show you just how flexible Tonality can be (coming soon).  
Get your free trial here.  If you decide to buy it, use the code JIMNIX to save 10%!

Here are a coupe of other resources for you as well in case you would like to learn more:

In this video, I give a tour of Tonality by Macphun, which I use to convert my photos to black and white, and in this case create a vintage London photo from an otherwise dull shot. Join me!

Thanks for stopping by today!  Let me know if you have any questions!

Just a street in Paris - shot down low with a wide angle lens

Outside The Louvre in the late afternoon