One photographer that has recently influenced my work is Stephen Shore. And through his photos, he describes the world as absurd and chaotic. “Photography is inherently an analytic discipline. Where a painter starts with a blank canvas and builds a picture, a photographer starts with the messiness of the world and selects a picture.” And how exactly did he show the chaos? He did this by shooting in color and giving life to each photo even if they contained nothing but abandoned gas stations and isolated phone booths.
Although modern color film has been around since 1935, when Kodak introduced Kodachrome, it was never a popular choice up until the 1960s. So before that, most of the ones we call masters of photography had no other option but to shoot in black and white. Monochrome has a certain subtle appeal that lets the viewer focus on the abstractions of reality and gives emphasis on emotion.Color seemingly shows too much and leaves little to the imagination. So the challenge is how do you kindle the interest of your viewer. People see color everywhere, so how would you produce an image so compelling that they take some time out of their day to look at. To answer that, I've compiled some images that I like from different photographers that I've met personally or have followed for a while.
1. Color and Light
2. The single color
3. The subtle color
4. What complements color?
5. The layers of color
So there you have it, my short but detailed journey on what I've learned from shooting street photography in color.
"You can't be at the pole and the equator at the same time. You must choose your own line, as I hope to do, and it will probably be color."- Vincent Van Gogh
The title of this post is a line from the 1998 Belle and Sebastian song, The Boy with the Arab Strap, which also inspired me to write this post.
All of the images I used on this post was approved by the photographers and they retain full copyright.
Links to the photographers:
Eric Kim Street Photography Blog
Japan Camera Hunter