“Black and White, plus Red” – by Debbie Ambrous

A silly riddle goes like this.  What is black and white and read all over?  Did you get it right away?  The answer is a newspaper, of course!  In print it is easier to solve since you see the obvious word read, but when you hear the riddle you fill in the color red.

Now, I have an opinion question for you instead of a riddle.  Do you prefer black and white, or red?  I’m speaking about photography.  Does your taste lean toward brilliant, popping-off-the-page color?  Or, do you prefer the subtle, soft, romantic or somber black and white photos? 


Some years ago when I was using a camera with film, I visited the beautiful village of Collonges-la-Rouge with my Canon loaded with black and white film.  On second thought, I do have a riddle for you.  Who is a dumb blonde and takes black and white pictures of a bright red town?  Yep, you got it.

I was smart enough to return to this beautiful town and capture the color pictures, but bad weather was creeping along the horizon with black clouds chasing the puffy white variety.  I moved quickly among the crowds of other tourists, trying to grab my pictures before the rain reminded the tourists who is boss.  I hope you like the results.





See the same window in black and white. What a difference!










Which picture of the men do you prefer?  I prefer the one in living color, in sharp contrast everyday with comments that riddle my blonde mind.

Storm clouds herded the tourists to the parking lot.  I was in the herd, and I took the right fellow home with me leaving the less colorful one by the well. 

I wish I could have taken the time to get the color of the building bright against the dark sky, but rain was already pelting my uncovered head. No parapluie with us this time either! See more pictures, click here for the France-storytelling and pictures page.

Collonges-la-Rouge, or as my automatic translation computer says, “La Red; Ruby the Bottom” is a must-see, very popular tourist village in Southwest France. The entire village is built of red sandstone, red with iron oxide, resulting in one of the most beautiful villages in France.  The tourism literature describes the winding narrow streets reminding one of tales of knights and princesses, but you are more likely to see tee shirts with rhinestones spelling PRINCESS instead.  Continuing the tourism temptation to the colorful town, they lure you in with promises of rich heritage and architectural treasures.  Collonges-la-Rouge delivers on all counts since the village dates from the 8th century and the founding of a priory by monks.  In the 13th century the inhabitants were granted exemption from taxes by the Viscounts of Turenne.   Houses and a castle were built, and the village prospered with income from the vineyards.  Tourism is the cash product now.  It is a wonderful place to visit if you can find a time when the tourists are otherwise occupied.

I hope you are enjoying your summer wherever you are.  Thank you for visiting.  Come again.

All pictures and stories are property of Debbie Ambrous – even the ones that are not so good.  Say please, and I may possibly be willing to share.

6 thoughts on ““Black and White, plus Red” – by Debbie Ambrous

  1. I’ve always loved black and white photography. But it’s hard to capture the essence of a red rose or a sunset if it’s not in color. I love your photography as well. Pictures are definitely worth a thousand words.

    • Kristy,
      Your photography is always beautiful. I had a problem with the black and white photos that I shared in the blog. They were so old that I could only find them saved on Shutterfly. They would have been better if I had saved them on a disk. I’m going with that option now and using a local professional service to handle it for me. I did the same in Miami for some of my pictures during recent years, but not the earlier ones. Thank you for your comment, and keep going with your photography!

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