Perhaps that pun in the title wasn’t necessary and it should be just “Day of the Dead”, because when I went into Bath the other day I could only see in colour, I know…. weird or what! I felt like mourning the loss of Black & White. The very next day in Bristol the same. I had this feeling that all I wanted to do was keep it real, well as real as possible when you freeze a moment at 1/1000 of a second, and if you’re keeping it real then it has to be colour because that’s how we see in reality. Here’s a shot that started that “Day of the Red” feeling. It’s a simple play on the colour red and of course a “Day of the Dead” mask near the entrance of Bath’s newest shopping area. Why they are celebrating a Mexican festival at a one time Roman and later Georgian city in Somerset is anyone’s guess.
We’re not going to follow a “Red” theme here by the way, it was simply a way of expressing my view. Incidentally t’s common theme for photographers when they start out making images to be attracted to red. My friend Tim McAndrew commented on Facebook “Wait, your camera has a colour setting?!” followed by “At your age it’s easy to knock the dials accidentally”….a good photographer and a very funny man it has to be said. If we’re to be taken seriously as photographers, or more specifically “Street” photographers, does it all have to be in Black & White? Possibly the answer is yes if you want your photos to gain some interest on Social Media, let’s face it, the internet devours high contrast monochrome images. I like high contrast Black and White too, but think you can mix it up a bit, why tie yourself to one or the other.
In my last post I was talking about scenes, a whole scene, the people in them and how they fascinate me. Actually the people don’t need to be doing anything specifically interesting, it’s the collective that I like. A few more colour images from Bath;
There were still some Black and White moments of course, shots that I thought worked better in grey tones.
That opening shot (at the top of this post) of the people walking past a convenience store was taken in Bristol. I really got into the whole shooting a scene in colour vibe whilst I was there.
I can still go close up, I can occasionally see some gestures, sometimes there might be a visual joke. Some might say all my photography is a visual joke, I hear them and they do make a strong case! I can still shoot with Black & White;
and a couple more that aren’t about the people, but I include to give those of you who haven’t visited a taste of Bristol.
In the end though I’m not a huge fan of the Black & White images shown here. The guy pointing on the bridge in Bath is okay, but for this week at least Monochrome just isn’t cutting it as far as I’m concerned. I’m not the only one it seems; I’ve been thinking of selling images over the last month or so. I received an email only yesterday from an organisation looking for photos of everyday life, family and street. Guess what? The only stipulation is “No Black & White images please”! Which reminds me, slightly off the topic of this post and very briefly; I read up on the internet about selling photos online. Very complicated to sell through my website it seems and of course there isn’t a huge amount of visitors through here or who may want to actually buy an image. The best way apparently was through a platform called 500px, which you might remember I removed myself from almost two years ago. Yes, where it said “Delete Account” I pressed “Yes”. When it said “Are you sure you want to leave forever?” I clicked “Yes” again. I went on there the other day, I could still logon and there were 550 of my photos stored. You never can erase your trace from the internet. Rather hypocritically I’ve posted some photos in a bid to sell through their “Marketplace”, I’m not looking at the work from others, not participating in the social side of it and I’m not “back on there”. In fact it’s a total waste of time because they’ve rejected every photo I’ve posted as not commercially viable. End of experiment. My idea was to sell prints, not commercial stuff in any case, so it’s back to the drawing board. Anyone has any suggestions I’d welcome them. Just email me.
Right then, back to our theme here and my final photo. Seriously I could post 40 or so images connected to this post and it’s a matter of self control on my part and not wanting to bore you too much. In colour, a scene, people. I think there’s always a story in these kind of shots. They look ordinary on the surface and yet a little use of the imagination and all sorts could be going on. My verdict here was that the guy with the red (there it is again) case was a target for some kind of hit. The guy leaning against the wall, the one sat on his motorbike and the one emerging on cue from the building…coincidence? I don’t think so ;-)
All images can be opened by clicking on the thumbnails and are taken using a Leica M with Summicron 35mm Lens fitted. I suggest that if you’re reading this blogpost via an email a better experience can be obtained if you open it in your browser.
As always my sincere thanks go to anyone taking the time to read this blog.