The treatment of colour in a photo has huge implications on it’s effectiveness. It can change the feel or mood of the image, the focus of how and where the eye is drawn, the understanding and can even change the meaning of a photo. For some people, myself included, almost the only significant amount of time spent thinking about the colour of an image is whilst making monochrome images.
Black and white has a beautiful way of forcing the viewer to concentrate on the composition and content of an image, shedding what can often be, the distraction of colour, whilst at the same time adding a timeless character to photographs, if done well.
Colour however can has these same effects, with proper consideration it can transform dull, lifeless images into resonant and strong shots, that rather than distract you from what’s in frame, make you consider why and how they are placed there by the photographer.
Until a year or two ago I’d been a huge appreciator of black and white treatment of certain images, and still am. Now however I’ve come to realise my own love of colour photographs where the colours carry a certain character within the image. I’ve started to play more with the colours and am finding that the ‘correct’ colour treatment can be classier than anything else.
I’m not trying to preach how good colour photographs can be. I’m simply sharing my new particular micro-interest inside photography and will be tweaking and experimenting more and more with how subtle changes in the colours of an image alter the effect on the view. Stick with me and see how it goes, or feel free to send me some of your own progression.
It can be much more subtle;
Some of the best examples of making the colour an indispensable quality I’ve found are from Benoit Paille (below). His portraits, and in particular his ‘Strangers’ series, which I believe is to be a published book, hold incredible depth of colour and character. Be sure to check his work out.