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DOES EVERYTHING LOOK WORSE IN BLACK AND WHITE?

By on March 20, 2017
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Paul Simon wrote a song called Kodachrome back in 1973.

 

It was a cynical look at his personal past and ended one line with the words “everything looks worse in black and white”.

 

Was Paul right?

 

I don’t think so. Some guys like work with black and white in movies even in 2017—you could call them artists, visionaries or government grant recipients (in Canada) but sometimes it works.

 

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I went through some old files and found a few pictures that really took off with a black and white look.

 

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These are from a 2012 show where there’s a downtown parade. I thought this John Milner tribute deuce coupe popped in this picture.

 

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This ’56 Meteor was rounding the turn back then and it set up a nice shot with the old hotel in the background.

 

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A row of classic street rods worked well in color but the black and white look definitely worked in spite of Paul Simon.

 

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Here are some shots from a 2015 show in the same city —this street rod was the bottom of a hill leading the pack.

 

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The Chrysler long roof was at the bottom of the same hill that same night—a black and white moment.

 

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This old Chevy truck and VW van by this historical building (same show) actually looked better in the b&w format.

 

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This shot was from another show in another town back in 2015. The clouds were real because the whole place was hit with hailstorm a few minutes later but the Studebaker looked great in b&w.

 

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This shot was from a Friday night in a BC mountain town back in May, 2015 when the town was taken over by classic iron. I liked this Poncho because of the mountain and the car itself so no color worked well.

 

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These old rides looked great beside a vintage hotel that same night—the Hudson dominated the picture in a good way.

 

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The bus, the old church and the old Chevy all looked great in black and white—period correct working overtime.

 

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They had a meeting of late 50s iron that night—it was just flat out cool.

 

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Another shot from that same night—black and white is magic in this one too.

 

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Here’s a look at downtown Saturday afternoon in that same town—old buildings, old iron are a solid fit for black and white.

 

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’58 Impala that same day—it was bright red but today it’s a shade of grey.

 

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Giant Imperials tend to dominate any scene and this brute did that plus it was already black.

 

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This DeSoto was at a lakeside resort show that same weekend.

 

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The Morgan by the lake was another entry in the same show—it worked well as a black and white.

 

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Black Caddys all have style so this b&w version by the lake focused on the car over that blue lake behind it.

 

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The same thing happened with this Merc—the car took the stage over the scenery.

 

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I wouldn’t run black and white pictures all the time because they can get kind of staged-looking but with all due respect to Paul Simon—not everything looks worse in black and white.

 

Jerry Sutherland

 

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