Sunday, January 3, 2010
Bring Home the Color Palette of Other Places
Bringing home photos that capture the colors of a place goes a long way to making your photos more authentic and in conjuring what I call the "color spirit" of a place. While traveling near the Mexican border in Tubac, Arizona, for example, we walked among dozens of stores selling brilliantly-painted Mexican pottery and the entire town seemed to vibrate with intense reds, greens, yellows and blues. I tried for quite a while to compose a wider scene that reflected that festive palette but none of my shots seemed to capture it. Instead, I started taking close-up photos of individual pots and pieces of artwork and I ended up taking dozens of photos of hand-painted pots, pitchers, tin lizards, etc. The shot here is just a detail of one of those pots but for me it recalls all of the fun and cheerfulness of those colorful displays.
Wherever you travel, look for colors that represent the mood and the feel of the place and then look for ways to capture that palette in your photos. Look for a mix of wide views, shots of people in costumes or local clothing styles and close-ups of art work and crafts. The more different objects and settings that you shoot that show those colors the more your photos will capture the color spirit of that place.