I am on my way with my 2017 year of Colour Project. It’s not quite as easy as I thought it would be and I am having some very strange down days in preparation.
Black and White as a storytelling medium is in my bones and has been there my whole life, but colour is hard, very hard and on dull days with no sun it’s the most uninspiring medium to shoot ! I walk around and think I can’t do this, I convince myself that I am not going to make it into the project but once I open my mind to primary colours and try to bring those colours into the context of Street Photography I feel more positive.
My first big knock back with the project was a point when I was looking at my colour work and decided to show Jane ( my girlfriend) she had a quick look and said “I like these, very much like Saul Leiter” My face dropped ! I suppose in a way it was a compliment, but I don’t want my work to reflect one of the Greats of colour Street Photography I want it to be my work.
I spent most of my life developing my black and white style so to now change and give colour a good run for its money was always going to be a challenge. I have however found my brain is starting to see in colour again and to look for more interesting light as well as my prefered colour pallet.
I am also starting to see shadows in a whole new way and to use the light shadows and colour in ways I would have not have thought about before. I am gaining more confidence every day and feel I will be ready to take the colour bull by the horns on the 1st of January 2017.
We all know that subtle use of even one single primary colour can pull you into a scene and give you a focus point. I think, what makes colour Street work even better is the subtle use of the other primary colours and colours at the other end of the colour wheel.
By adding the mystery of shadows and playing games with the light it all starts to fall into place and you start to get the itch back ! You know the one that makes you want to get out with your camera and go on the hunt for that perfect scene.
Looking for great light and colours is how I spent quite a lot of my time when I shot landscape. I spent hours in just one place waiting for the perfect light or perfect weather to make it all come together. This is not for landscape and even harder for Street.
Sometimes you get the perfect balance and the trinity of all Street Photography comes together; Light, Composition and Moment.
I can’t wait to get into 2017 now and hit the ground running with my new project. One thing is for sure I am learning to see so much more than I used to in black and white.
When I embarked upon my Year of Black and White project in 2013 I was worried about missing Spring and Autumn colours. Now all I think about is what am I going to shoot on dull winter days ! No doubt my brain will be in tune by then to the vast array of subject matter and the interesting colours we do have in all weathers and at all times of the year..
If all else fails I will have to start using flash !