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Light, Colors and Photography

As a photographer, I am constantly thinking about light. Without light there would be no way to make photographs. Even the first camera, as we've seen in my first official blog entry, was entirely based upon projecting an image onto a wall with light. Light is the one indispensable component of photography. There are so many ways light can be used creatively! It doesn't merely have to be a perfect "Golden Hour Selfie"; light can be manipulated to suit any creative need. Light is also what gives us the visible color spectrum, which we have been studying in my Core II art class.

So How Does Color Work?

Visible light has a range of different colors within it. These travel at different wavelengths (pictured to the left). The reason objects are certain colors is because they can absorb certain wavelengths (which we don't see) and reflect others (which we perceive as the color of said object.

That being said, light travels at different temperatures and colors which is important to remember as a photographer so that true, accurate color balances can be achieved in pictures. This will depend, of course, on how the artist intends to use said color in compositions.

My Experiments With Color and Photography

Throughout my career I've always paid close attention to colors in my photography. I always ask myself: "Do I want this color in here? How is it interacting with other colors? Do these pictures have a domination color theme? Should I remove color to avoid distraction from my main subject?"

All of these are taken into consideration when making photos and making cohesive collections and bodies of work. I have been experimenting with gels and different colors in my compositions, particularly the color red. I've had a lot of trauma and negative associations in my life with the color red, so I am trying to go out of my comfort zone somewhat to explore how I relate to the color and how it can relate to my work. Here are some examples:

These also happen to be self-portraits, which I am also exploring in relation to the color red.

I usually tend to gravitate toward keeping my photography in black and white. I've always found that my subject matter is a lot more compelling in under that tone, than in bright vivid color. As such:

There are millions of ways to manipulate light and color, as is shown in my examples. Color gels over lights, having indoor lighting that can be manipulated and changed accordingly, locations outdoors to strategically get good exposure and contrast, etc.

This semester has been an interesting experience with colors and I hope to explore a lot more within the coming year.

Thanks for tuning in this Sunday!

There might be another post today, we're still catching up on missed blogs!

-Gabe <3

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