Composing With Color

I was recently advised by my Color Photo professor to study some of the work of Pete Turner (who I’m sure is at least relatively well known, but if you aren’t familiar with his work I’d strongly recommend checking it out) and attempt to employ some of the same elements in a set of photos. Although it goes without saying that I didn’t even really come all that close, considering Turner’s masterful and almost painter-like command of color, it was a cool change of pace to focus strictly on color after almost entirely ignoring it in my film classes.

It was definitely cool to start thinking about this sort of thing though, especially since it was both rooted in something familiar, abstraction, and something unfamiliar, exaggerating color to the point that it is the defining element of compositions.

Just like my newer understanding of implementing light in a more active sense, this little assignment was another sort of “a-ha” moment in regard to something I probably should have been keen on already, but I guess that sort of thing just happens sometimes. It was definitely cool to start thinking about this sort of thing though, especially since it was both rooted in something familiar, abstraction, and something unfamiliar, exaggerating color to the point that it is the defining element of compositions. Even though I’ve taken a color photo class before and initially becoming familiar with the concept of photography through color digital, to me that stuff was usually just photos that had color in them. Although there were times that color played a more dramatic role, it generally wasn’t something I’ve wholeheartedly, or even really all that superficially explored. In most of my past work I’ve mainly focused more on enforcing compositions with strong lines, and occasionally through value; but, as elementary as I’m sure it seems, making images about the colors in them is sort of something that has slipped through my fingers until now. The theme so far this semester has sort of seemed like it would be stepping back and thinking about things differently.

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