The title of this post might sound like an expensive new shade of paint from Farrow & Ball. What it’s actually about is finding beauty in even the apparently dullest light.
It’s hardly a surprise to be met with overcast skies in Brittany in November. But there is a richness in that light, too. Ignore those people who tell you that landscape photography is all about shooting during ‘Golden Hour’. Flat, grey light has a stillness that can be, at times, melancholic or serene.
And it’s rarely pure grey. Colour lurks in there somewhere – sometimes a touch of green or blue. Brittany offers many shades of grey. At least 50. Hmm, I have an idea for the title of my next book…
There are many photographers, myself among them, who turn to monochrome photography to eliminate the distraction of colour. Other times, monochrome is what the world gives you.
Your photographers intelligence tells you theres nothing simple or even minimal about greys. Same for painters. Greys are the richest and the most eye – awakening part of the palette. There’s a wonderful rich black which in a very Brit way is called Payne’s Grey. I guess that’s coz it’s rarely used neat but in shades of other colours. Made mostly of blue, yellow ochre and burnt umber. It’s got weight and authority where carbon blacks are fluffy and very patchy at drying. Added ingredient of lots of actual pain when you try to learn how to mix one yourself 🤨😳🤪worth’s it though – transformed my grasp of what colour could be.