Menton in Black and White

On a recent trip to France, I thought it would be interesting to shoot some black and white film.  I’ve never actually used black and white film — recently, or in the distant past.  It’s completely new to me.  I tend to be attracted to color, so shooting black and white doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. Still, I thought it might be interesting at night, and I could use a high-speed black and white film. So I bought a couple rolls of Ilford Delta 3200, and packed them with my gear.

On the last night in France, I finally decided to give it a try. I had finished shooting a blue hour vista of Menton, and figured I could expend the 16 shots on a roll of 120 film on my way back to the apartment we were staying in.  So, I loaded the roll into my Fuji Ga645zi medium format point and shoot camera.  The highest ISO setting for this camera is 1600, and the film was 3200.  I had read that this film had a lot of leeway, so I just went with the highest the camera could go and ignored the speed on the box.

I looked for interesting bright pools of light or shadow which would create contrast.  All these photos are handheld, except for the last one.  This cafe was empty, but I loved the way the light reflected off the chairs:


My wife pointed this scene out to me — particularly the bike.  I liked how the pizza place and diners behind me were reflected in the window:


I had bought a sandwich from this stand a few hours before.  They were closing up for the night:


Here’s a classic view of Menton, with the churches and staircase that leads up to them.  I did use a tripod for this photo:


I really like the way these turned out, so I’ll probably shoot more nighttime black and white film in the future.



4 comments on “Menton in Black and White”

  1. Alma Martinez says:

    Hello.l’ve thoroughly enjoyed your phenomenal pictures for a few years now. Each time I see a post, they never cease to spark my energy and imaginging of all the places calling for me to explore. Your eye is my life-lens. Thank you!

    1. Peter says:

      Wow, this is high praise! Thank you!

  2. Philip Dodd says:

    Peter, these are really good. Keep some B&W with you all the time and don’t hesitate to use it from time to time.Quality photos ! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Peter says:

      Thank you!

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