Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A touch of strong colour

click photo to enlarge
Ever since mankind has created pictures colour has been a key element of the armoury of the artist. Colour is powerful, seductive, noticeable and descriptive. But, as photographers who favour black and white often claim, it can overwhelm an image, introduce a note or mood the artist doesn't require, or detract from the essence of what is offered. Consequently, artists have often sought to use colour sparingly, recognising as cooks do with their herbs and spices, that a little can go a long way. Since the rise of colour photography that has been one of the approaches that photographers have adopted too.

Several years ago, when I was more involved than I am today with the wider photographic community, I acquired a reputation for photographs that included a strong but small note of vivid colour (often red) in an otherwise relatively muted colour palette. In fact, my second post on PhotoReflect, way back on 24th December 2005, "The Power of Colour" both exemplifies and discusses that approach to composition. I continue to periodically produce photographs with that characteristic, such as this photograph of a ladybird or this one of a snagged red net bag by the sea.

One recent morning, on a shopping trip to Sleaford, Lincolnshire, I had the opportunity to add another such image to my collection. By a small pond, at the end of a wooden walkway that stretched from the path to a small fishing jetty, was a bright orange life belt. The overnight frost had laid a veneer of white over timber and vegetation, reducing the impact of these colours and emphasising the vivid orange circle. Holding my camera above my head to make more of the timber path and rails as a line into the composition I took the photograph that I offer today.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Sony RX100
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 10.4mm (28mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/40 sec
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On