500 shades of grey / 500 sombras de gris

La versión en español está después de la versión en inglés.

DID YOU KNOW THAT BLACK & white photos contain more than 500 shades of grey? Apparently the human eye can only distinguish around 30 of them. I’m sure, if I tried, I could count well beyond 30 shades in today’s photos. I just don’t feel like it.

Today is the Kid Brother’s birthday. I’ll phone him this evening. He forgives me this one time a year for breaking the rules and making an unscheduled phone call. San Geraldo and I will sing while he rants, “Enough a’ready!” When I asked Tuesday if he had received any mail, he said, “No. Nothing today.” Nothing today? Hmmm. So, I asked if he had received any mail this week. “No. Nothing this week.” This week. So, I asked if he had received any mail since the last time I spoke with him. “Oh, yeah. A really nice card.” Oh dear god (and I’m not even a believer). “From who?” “I forget. It’s in the drawer.” “Well, go get it and read it to me.” “OK, chief!” It was from Mary in Maryland. “It’s really, really nice,” he said, “a bird. Inside the card. Not out. Inside. You should see it!”

I wonder what else is in the card drawer. Obviously, I haven’t been asking the right questions.


¿SABÍAS QUE LAS FOTOS EN blanco y negro contienen más de 500 sombras de gris? Aparentemente el ojo humano solo puede distinguir alrededor de 30 de ellas. Estoy seguro de que, si lo intentara, podría contar más allá de los 30 tonos en las fotos de hoy. Simplemente no tengo ganas.

Hoy es el cumpleaños de Kid Brother. Le llamaré esta noche. Él me perdona esta vez al año por romper las reglas y hacer una llamada telefónica no programada. San Geraldo y yo cantaremos mientras él despotrica: “¡Ya basta!” Cuando le pregunté el martes si había recibido algún correo, dijo: “No. Nada hoy.” ¿Nada hoy? Hmmm. Entonces, le pregunté si había recibido algún correo esta semana. “No. Nada esta semana”. Esta semana? Entonces, le pregunté si había recibido algún correo desde la última vez que hablé con él. “Oh si. Una tarjeta realmente bonita”. Dios mío (y ni siquiera soy un creyente). “¿De quien?” “Yo olvido. Está en el cajón”. “Bueno, ve a buscarlo y léemelo”. “¡Está bien, jefe!” Fue de Mary en Maryland. “Es muy, muy bonito”, dijo, “un pájaro. Dentro de la tarjeta. No fuera. Dentro. ¡Deberías verlo!”

Me pregunto qué más hay en el cajón de tarjetas. Obviamente, no he hecho las preguntas correctas.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

35 thoughts on “500 shades of grey / 500 sombras de gris”

  1. It’s a black and white world out there!
    Love these!
    Always good to view the world upside down.
    Happy Birthday to Chuck!

  2. I love the B&W photos, and your B&W gato shadows. my birthday card to chuck has birdies on it also.

    1. Anne Marie,
      As you know, Chuck loves birds. Maybe he’ll tell me about the card. If not, I’ll take pictures of his entire collection when I’m there.

  3. I only ever see three shades of grey. Light, medium and dark. I like how Moose and Dudo photograph black and white even in color 🙂

  4. Black and white photographs are so evocative. I well believe the variety of greys in B&W photos when you consider the range of moods these photos can convey..

    USPS actually got a card to KB before time! Yay. Valentine’s card is on the way…a dog this time. Like to vary his animals/scenes. 🙂

    1. Mary,
      Service from Maryland seems to be pretty good lately! I have a ball with these shadow shots.

    1. Wilma,
      Thanks. I do love that shot … and the last. Moose and Dudo were simply waiting for their treats.

    1. Steve,
      It’s possible. Thanks for you’re patience. I hope to be there in August and will photograph the entire collection, front and back.

      1. I just hope it arrived and isn’t wandering around out there somewhere in lost-letter land. The Royal Mail has been having lots of issues lately!

      2. Steve:
        Mail has been the pits here in Spain, too, and all around the US, with NYC being especially awful. I hope it did get there and it’s just The Kid Brother being his usual self.

  5. It seems weird to see pictures with no snow. Sometimes I forget just where you live! And were your ears ringing today? I had you on my mind a lot this morning. Since I had to go sign my tax paper work, I was up early and hit a bakery.You’d went nuts.

    I hope Chuck gets my card, since the previous two seemed to have disappeared. The one I sent last Monday has Abbott and Costello on it.

    1. Mistress Maddie,
      I could always share photos of the snow in Madrid and the north, and in the nearby mountains, but I suppose that would be like you sharing photos of the beach in San Diego. Given the way Chuck answered my questions last week, there’s no telling how many cards he actually received and didn’t tell me about. I promise to take pictures of them all when I finally get there. I saw your bakery photos and I DID go nuts! And you bought enough for us both!

    2. Mistress Borghese,
      Forgot to mention: He’ll love the Abbott and Costello card! I can’t get those here.

  6. I wish I could remember what was on the card I sent Chuck. A cat? Maybe? I dunno.
    Moose and Dudo look less menacing today, so I gather they had their treats?

    1. Bob,
      No, Dudo and Moose were waiting for their treats. Sometimes it doesn’t look like The Shining.

      Will take pictures of all postcard when I finally see Chuck. Then, we’ll know for sure.

  7. Black-and-white photos are, in many ways, more evocative than coloured ones. Especially for portraits. There’s just something about shadows on faces . . . .

    1. Kirk,
      I’m late, too! I missed him yesterday and hope to catch him today for a belated greeting.

  8. Did you study Ansel Adams zone system? The perfect image contained a range of zones from stark white, to darkest black. I parted with those books when we sold the other house.

    1. David,
      Although I love Ansel Adams’ work, I never studied him. I was never much interested in photography when I was a student. I missed out… but I guess I couldn’t force it at the time.

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