Friday, February 8, 2013

Exploring Color Once Again

My personal vision is rooted in a close up, wide perspective of contrast, values of gray and line. Every so often I venture into color photography just to try to better understand my relationship to it. I will probably do this periodically for the rest of my career.

Most recently after listening to several interviews with William Klein and having several discussions about the work of Saul Leiter, I have again become excited about working with color. I'm not sure I will ever develop my own unique style of color photography but I'm gaining a better idea of where on the spectrum of color photography I'm most comfortable.

As I've said in the past, I work best in color when I make color the subject of the photograph. Looking at the work of Klein and Leiter I'm understand that the use of longer lenses than I would normally use is key to isolating color as subject. So lately I've been shooting color transparency film using 50mm and 135mm lenses.

Cafe window on Valencia Street, San Francisco. ©2013 David W. Sumner

Another interesting approach to color I have been exploring is using the various photo sharing camera apps made for the iPhone. These apps come with a variety of filters that recreate vintage "looks" to the final image. Some look like old Polaroids others like faded family Christmas snaps. Some combinations of these filters can achieve very interesting color palettes. For me the most interesting are those giving the low resolution images I make with my iPod Touch a similar look to early color processes such as the Autochrome.

The Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco. 
iPod Touch photo in Eye-Em App
©2013 David W. Sumner

It's all great fun and good visual/photographic exercise. For a while I'll be posting more color work to my Flickr page, but I do hear that dominant, black & white side of my vision clearly calling.

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