Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Assignment: Color

Assignment: Color

The goal (I'm reading "The Practice of Contemplative Photography") was simply to photograph color. Preferably bold, strong colors, but my neighborhood tends more toward muted colors, earthtones, etc. So this is about as bold as I could find this afternoon. In a way the pattern of bricks is competing a bit with the color, but I don't know if it's distracting or balancing.

I'm finding the book useful if at times a bit wordy and "Zen" - but the idea is to be in the moment, to perceive the world as it is rather than through the filter of "conception" where we see things more in terms of their functions and other learned connotations and associations. So in the picture above, I noticed (because I was looking for it) the color first - there was a moment  where I perceived the beauty of the scene before my conscious mind had time to assign names to the various parts of the scene, then the goal was to capture that beauty so that the viewer will also be struck first by the color - it should be immediately obvious that this is not a picture of a "brick wall" or a "wooden panel" or some "plumbing works" (or gas or whatever), but simply about the inherent beauty of the color.


  1. I like it, but the color wasn't what first hit me, it was the detail of the image, the rough bricks, the patch work and the water on the pipes. The color stood out but it wasn't what drew me into the photo. The great thing about photography is we all have different takes on a photo an no one person is correct or wrong.

    When I go out and shoot, I clear my mind I have no agenda I allow the photo to present itself to me, and its up to me if I want capture it or not.

  2. Thanks Gerry, that's helpful. It may not be right or wrong, but in terms of my goal those other things are "distractions" as I suspected myself. I still like it, but will continue to look for other colorful opportunities.

    As for having no agenda, that seems to be pretty much the point of contemplative photography, although at first it might strike you as contradictory to have a goal to shoot color and "no agenda," the goals here are simply exercises to help a student such as me to be aware of as many things as possible that make good "subjects" for the medium and to learn how to not have an agenda :-)

    And you have no agenda within a general goal to shoot street photography, no?

  3. I enjoy reading your posts. It's good to see someone taking a serious interest in the finer points of photography. Many of your images which are linked to your self assignments have clearly been thought about. You set a task, and follow through, produce an image, and describe the reasons and methods. I feel that your studying starts to rub off on me, as I think about the things you write.

    As for agendas, I think we all have them, but some are just more defined than others. The term agenda tends to suggest a reason behind our images. Or maybe a loose direction of our various interests.

    I know I have an agenda, but I am not sure exactly what it is. LOL. I think as we progress, our agendas change constantly.

    Me? hey.. I just take photos. LOL

    I think we our little blogging group are all learning off each other. It is quite an inspiring thing to be involved in.

    Thanks Mike, Gerry and Cheryl.

  4. Thanks Bill. I agree.

    I hope to have more to say on this in today's post a bit later...