Wednesday, May 02, 2012

The power of colour (again)

click photo to enlarge
When I came to give a title to today's piece I thought I'd use, "The power of colour". However, somewhere in the recesses of my memory a bell sounded and I wondered if I'd used it before. I had. The title of my second blog post, made on 24th December 2005, used those very words. In fact, the reflection that I had in mind to write for this post was somewhat along the lines of what I penned then. (Thought: should the word "keyed" replace "penned" if you write at a keyboard?)

I took today's photograph in the stair well of a gallery. As a semi-abstract composition it offered me more interest than anything that was on display on the walls and window ledges of the stairs. The thing that made it stand out from the other recessed lighting panels was the glowing red LED. Quite what the purpose of the red light is I don't know, but its eye-like presence suggested a photograph to me and I tilted my camera to make this diagonal composition.

One of the most effective ways in which colour can be used in a painting or photograph is sparingly, as a highlight against a mainly muted palette. Even a small amount has a transformative power and can lift a composition in a way that seems beyond such an insignificant spot of colour. I don't think that, overall, this photograph or my earlier one are the greatest examples of that, but I do think the dot of red above illustrates my point, and makes a contribution to the shot that reaches beyond its diminutive dimensions.

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 105mm
F No: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/80 sec
ISO: 1000
Exposure Compensation:  -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On