|"Diagonal and Door," Taken in Greenbelt, MD, 2010 (Sculpture by Lenore Thomas)|
I finish far fewer of the photos I take in color than I do in monochrome, and those that I do finish in color, I prefer them to have a limited palette. I find that I understand photos a great deal more in terms of shapes and tones than I do colors, so this is a more natural way of working for me.
The photo above (the first print of which now hangs in my father-in-law's office) is a good example of how I generally like to use color: The red door and the green bush are the only colors with any real saturation, and those colors only serve to highlight the strong diagonal line and the little details on the pure black and white of the sculpture. The photo below provides an even more extreme example, with blue and purple its only colors and the itself completely in the shadow.
|"Tree and Skylight," Taken in Greenbelt, MD, 2010|
When I do a full color photo, I sometimes feel like I'm fighting against the color rather than working with it. I'll think that the color looks bland and washed out, so I'll jack up the contrast only to make something that loooks garish and overdone. Hues that looked good in the real world appear to clash on the screen. And just when I think I've got everything balanced just so, the print will arrive looking just a bit off from where I want it. (Note to self: Get a better monitor.)
Sometimes, though, I get a full-color photo I like. I highlighed "Ferris Wheel in Morning Light" in an earlier post; below is another of my favorites. I took it last year while at Shenandoah National Park with the intent of converting it to B&W, but I decided I liked the color better. Is it too saturated and over-the top? Maybe, maybe not, but this is how the scene felt. I'm happy with the result.
|"A Tree by a Brook," Taken in Shenandoah Park, VA, 2010|