Picture Perfect : Shades of Grey
I took this photo in Gray, France, end of 1982.
When my husband-to-be told me over the phone where we would be living, I imagined all different spellings, Gré, Grès, Grai, Grais, even Grey, but not the one I was most familiar with, Gray. The photo shows the overflowing of the river which happened regularly. The climate was particularly gray. The month of July during our first summer there, it rained 19 days. The people were not very sunny either. My husband while walking to work passed the same people every day, saying “Bonjour!” but it was six months before he received a “bonjour” in return.
Brittany, where we live now, has a reputation of being gray, but that is a false impression comparatively. There is wind here which clears everything out and lifts the gray. I remember reading about a Breton who returned from Tahiti—he got bored with nothing but blue sky. Someone said how can one remain indifferent towards such an infinite variety of grays?
The first thing that came to mind with this theme was the song “now there is no black or white, but only shades of gray.” Where I was at the time this song came out, this idea was not appreciated. Things were either black or white, right or wrong.
My second thought was we are all shades of gray. If we assign degrees of blackness, we are judging, which in turn darkens our own shade. But being more a slugbuster than a ghostbuster, I don’t know how to photograph that sort of shade, so I went with my third idea.
For more entries on the theme of Shades of Grey, go to Picture Perfect.