Posted in Naomi Baltuck, Peace & Justice, Photo Essay, Photography/Photographer

Black and White (or not)

A black and white photo is light and dark, its sharp contrasts easy on the eye.

Perhaps black and white is easier on the mind as well.  No difficult decisions, no wavering, no questioning right from wrong.  But real life is in color, with many subtle hues and shades.  Condemned prisoners who crossed over The Bridge of Sighs in Venice got one last peek at their beloved city.  Did they see their world in terms of black and white, or in color?  Perhaps one’s perception depended upon whether one was looking in or out, whether one was coming or going.

It is easy to cast judgements, until you have walked a mile in another person’s shoes, looked into her eyes, heard his story.  The world is not black and white.  It is the color of flesh and blood, with many gray areas.  What is the color of a human tear?

All images and words by Naomi Baltuck, copyright 2012

Note: For another facet of this topic,  check out this link by Carbon Leaf, The War Was in Color, and my post Remembering Uncle Lewis.

NaomiPHOTO1-300ppi51kAqFGEesL._SY300_NAOMI BALTUCK ~ is a Contributing Editor and Resident Storyteller here410xuqmD74L._SY300_ at Bardo. She is a world-traveler and an award-winning writer, photographer, and story-teller whose works of fiction and nonfiction are available through Amazon HERE. Naomi presents her wonderful photo-stories – always interesting and rich with meaning and humor – at Writing Between the Lines, Life from the Writer’s POV. She also conducts workshops such as Peace Porridge (multicultural stories to promote cooperation, goodwill, and peaceful coexistence), Whispers in the Graveyard (a spellbinding array of haunting and mysterious stories), Tandem Tales, Traveling Light Around the World, and others. For more on her programs visit Naomi


When not actually writing, I am researching the world with my long-suffering husband and our two kids, or outside editing my garden. My novel, The Keeper of the Crystal Spring (Viking Penguin), can be read in English, German, Spanish, and Italian. My storytelling anthology, Apples From Heaven, garnered four national awards, including the Anne Izard Storytellers’ Choice. I am currently working on a contemporary women’s novel.

11 thoughts on “Black and White (or not)

  1. Western thinking gravitates toward the pivotal black/white, either/or, dualistic axis. If x, then not x cannot be. When x and not x live in peaceful coexistence, then we’re awakened to the myriad possibilities of real life. Y and y not?


  2. Oh, it is just so, Naomi, that life cannot define us by placing us in pigeon holes. It is sometimes much easier, gives one a greater sense of security, or of belonging, to place ourselves and those we meet in a pigeon hole that describes each of us in an exact way, ascribes to them a set of behaviours, so that we can feel comfortable with them and provide a standard by which we judge others. But, like you have said so well, our lives are not black or white, we are instead an infinite variety of shades in between black and white, an infinite set of intersecting spectra in differing shades and colours. We each must, therefore, have a unique perspective on our reality. It is always, nonetheless, comforting to know that somebody loves us, in spite of our differences, but above all, does not judge us, because none of us a perfect; to that state we can only aspire. Thank you for casting a very visual and colourful light on our lives.


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