Barcelona Photoblog: A Mexican Hat, Black and White and Musings About the Past

July 27, 2009

A Mexican Hat, Black and White and Musings About the Past

Tourist wearing Mexican hat in Barcelona [enlarge]

In the streets the most absurd, the most trivial situation may be frozen up and become a scene in your imagination and eventually end up more or less fortunately imprinted forever on a photograph. Some of those scenes acquire more meaning or are better off in black and white or sepia. I don't know why is that so. Have you ever wondered why the lack of other colors turns a photograph into something more artistic, more symbolic, more serious perhaps? And wondering about that, why is it that after ten or twenty years, that significance grows exponentially. For example, I am somehow sure that this modest snapshot of a random guy showing off his brand new Mexican hat along the Rambla de Mar bridge near Maremagnum center, looks better in black and white but I am convinced that twenty years from now (not that it is meant to turn into a famous picture) this trifle, brief moment in time, will evolve into something more artistic, into a sort of message from the past, talking about other times, other people at least to me and my family. It is evident that black and white gives value to images because in our imagination we associate faded, blurry, noisy, black and white images with the past. And curiously enough, although recent generations have been surrounded by color photographs there is something there in the back of our minds that makes the association persist. Maybe it is something about chromatism, dreams, the subconscious mind...who knows. Here is a link to a previous version of someone else wearing a Mexican hat but this time in color: Mexican Hats in Barcelona.

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