Hope, despair and everything in between

Black and white close up shot of padlocked door bolt. Image: Su Leslie

Locked out? Or in? Image: Su Leslie

“Black and white are the colors of photography. To me they symbolize the alternatives of hope and despair to which mankind is forever subjected.” —Robert Frank

In general, I think life can be better explained in terms of continua than dichotomies. Or to put it simply — it’s not so much black and white as shades of grey.

Even black and white photography is rarely, truly, black and white.

As someone who experiences periods of depression, I know the subtle on-going dance of hope and despair. The trick is learning to recognise and find expression for it.

Making photos helps; turning my focus outward and allowing me to shape new stories to tell — if only to myself.

The difference between hope and despair is a different way of telling stories from the same facts. — Alain de Botton

Weekly quotation-inspired image, hosted by Debbie at Travel with Intent


25 thoughts on “Hope, despair and everything in between

  1. Nice to quote Frank. In law we also learn that things are never black and white, right or wrong, true or false. Everything is always subject to perspective, context, and time.


  2. You’ve packed a lot into this post, Su, in both words and photos. I’m sorry you suffer from depression but happy that your lovely photos bring you an outlet and such a wonderful means of expression and of telling stories. Nice to see you here and I love that last shot.


    Liked by 2 people

  3. I love each and every photo for different reasons.
    And well done – simple post yet masterful –
    and the way it all combined with the expounding on the quote – and you know – that quote did not sit right with me – and yesterday I weren’t back into my post and reworded it a bit because I did not want the second part of the quote to come across as my view – because I did not feel what Robert Frank felt – if that makes sense – so I actually rewrote the quote and left out the “to me” Part
    and I mention that because reading your post showed me part of what Lilly was not sitting right – and thanks for this – because I think this was part of what I was feeling

    “In general, I think life can be better explained in terms of continua than dichotomies. Or to put it simply — it’s not so much black and white as shades of grey.

    Even black and white photography is rarely, truly, black and white.”
    so true –
    and then you went on to use hand picked photos to add to the whole idea –
    gold star post….


  4. Very evocative. The power of monochrome versus colour… Monochrome puts the essentials in focus, colour adds vibrancy but sometimes distracts from the message. Beautiful photographs.



  5. Su, you’re not alone in this. The chirpiest of us can still find it hard to face the day sometimes. Sorry about my frivolity over your faded rose. If I’d read this first I probably wouldn’t have responded that way. Still- you have to smile 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Beautiful images Sue. Strong images with a touch of sadness. Sorry to hear of the challenges with your health. I don’t think it is an easy road to travel on. Sending you strength, courage and lots of love from across the ditch.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. These are all so beautiful photographs, I especially love your portraits, black and white, or rather shades of grey are just perfect for it! I also love that earring you’re wearing, and that ‘distracted’ look suits you. 😍
    I wish we could all live without ever having to endure depressions but maybe there’s a part in us that actually needs it in order to appreciate fully when we’re not depressed? Or maybe that’s just rubbish. 😂
    I had a small bout of it in the last two days too… but I think the worst is over. Sending you big hugs, dear friend! Xxxxxx

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I loved this post Su and I hope you are OK. You know I understand too.

    There is something wonderful about B&W photos, and yours are just magical. I enjoy drawing in graphite occasionally because it makes me appreciate tones more than colour does.

    Liked by 1 person

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