Starting this post with a Bold statement.
I'm moving my focus away from black and white, in hopes of finally leaving my comfort zone and really learning more about how to work with colour.
I think this move has been a long time coming. My influences, tastes and style seems to be evolving again. Where as I once revelled in the joys of new topographics and landscapes I now focus on people and intricate moments. My love for murky edits and gritty vibes are slowly being replaced by a need for pristine and immaculate images. Darkness is slowly being phased out and light is seeping in through the cracks.
Since shooting weddings, I've been thrust into editing cleaner images that show off the class of the bride and groom during their big day. It's something that I really want to apply to my commercial work. Where as before I'd enjoy strutting around dusty workshops and really focusing on the mess, I now want to show off how that mess is really a product of how incredible humans operate outside of their own minds. I feel that doing so in a dingy way is doing them a dis service.
This was made apparent to me while editing all of my images for "Devils & Details". I tried to capture a cleaner, more classy vibe to really show off how bad ass I think these people are. The one thing that stared me straight in the face... The vast array of colours I was phasing out. See my process is one of simplicity. I like to keep things bare bones and prevent any distractions in regards to what I'm photographing. Colour has often hindered what I really want the viewer to focus on within an image. It sounds daft, but to give you an example of what I mean, if there is a scene with incredible light falling on a subject, I believe black and white images really showcase it. Where if colour was involved it would almost be lost within the similar colours around it. Diluted if you will.
The more I look at the work of those who inspire me, I realise this could be considered a pretty narrow minded way of looking at things. I mean food tastes better with a good accompaniment right? Letting the different flavours meddle with one another to create something completely different to what the main component is. So why is it with photography I seem to favour the simpler dishes than those prepared by artists?
Film Photography has reignited my passion for colour and left a sense of yearning to learn more. Learn more about how to create medleys of components that sing with a brighter tone. To be a conductor rather than a listener/critic. The past few weeks I have been trying to reinvent myself as a photographer. I set my moral compass to clearer waters a while back. I'm more focused on creating cleaner images that say something rather than just rolling with the punches while shooting endless collections of throw away images.
I think with this change of direction, my style had to drastically change to compliment it. Recently, all of my influence recently comes from editorial, fashion and product photography. I like how the images that really excite me have such a clinical cleanliness to them. No matter how grim the subject may be. It's the way light is handled and how colour is used as a tool to make a subject really shine. Maybe this is how photography should be done and I've been barking up the wrong tree for too long?!
With this change of style and influence, I will be shooting more colour stuff... Using film. Some may say this is counter intuitive due to the complicated nature of analog photography. But I feel it will really benefit me in the long run. Limiting how many photos I can take will hopefully reinforce my moral duty to only shoot what matters. Though in turn will also show me how light really affects colour. So every exposure will have to be spot on to reap the rewards of what film can offer with regards to its tones and palettes.
This week I finally took all of the films from my fridge to be developed and scanned. Despite being just snapshots of random shit, mainly shot on a simple point and shoot system, I was really stoked with the results. The way the colours move within the frame really shocked me. It's almost as if they entwine themselves with one another like smoke trails. Moving in unison with one another but never really breaking their form. Despite thinking that and typing it, I'm well aware it makes no sense. It's so hard to explain what I mean. All the colours seem to work with one another. Theres not really any "ah feck" moments within them.
The photos I've selected for this post aren't here as an example of amazing photographs, just ones that handle colour in a way that I appreciate... Instead of turning my nose up in the usual ignorant fashion.
The feeling I get from looking at well executed film photography seems to fit really well with where I want to go as a photographer. Being able to create timeless images that ooze cleanliness and class. Black and white will always be my main love, but for now I feel in order to progress I have to learn from those who inspire me and start working with more than just different shades of grey.
That being said though, I still cant help but be super pleased with the images below.
Till Next time...