Paris in Colour
Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best. Photographer Nichole Robertson explains how, one greyJanuary day, she had the idea of documenting the vivid colour palette of her city
Did you ever have the nagging sense that you weren't living the life you should be living? In 2008, I did. And rather than continue to ignore it, I posed the following question to my husband, Evan: "Want to move to Paris?" To my surprise, he answered: "Hell yes. Let's go."
When we arrived in January of 2009, the winter clouds extended the typical muted greys and whites of Paris's streets and Haussmann buildings across the entire sky. The whole city was a perfect, neutral palette against which anything could happen. We had our fresh start.
As we strolled, the objects that attracted my eye were café chairs, coffee cups, flowers, graffiti, doors, and chalkboards - things meant to be touched, shared, enjoyed, and worn down. On our long
walks, one particular object would strike me - a bright blue moped, for example - and I'd obsess about that colour for the rest of the day. Focusing on only one colour allowed me to see things I might otherwise have overlooked, like a door handle or an interesting pattern in chipped paint. Each colourful detail popped against the natural textures of the beautiful, worn buildings as if waiting to be noticed. Some were out in the open. Others were well concealed from casual passers-by. Those were the best discoveries.
Paris taught me a lot of things; most important among them is to take my time. I hope that these photos inspire you to put down your preoccupations as well, at least for a little while, so that you can find as much happiness in viewing them as I did in discovering them.