When I’m teaching, people often ask me about black and white photography – do I like it, when do I use it, do I set my camera to monochrome before I shoot etc. These are all good and important questions, and I’m a big fan of black and white images, particularly when I am looking at textures and patterns.
Intriguingly, though, I am rarely asked about the use of colour to help create a strong image; perhaps, because we see the world in colour anyway, we tend to take this for granted, assuming that most of our images will be in colour anyway? But if we do take this for granted, then we risk missing the ways in which the presence of colour can make a scene striking. The multi-coloured profusion of blooms at a flower-market, the contrast of the red bus against a blue sky, or the single expanse of luscious greensward in a spring lawn can be real sights of beauty, and worth pausing to admire.
Today’s image was taken on a very quiet beach early in the day, before the crowds had arrived. The azure blue of the sky is picked up in the windbreaks, while the vermilion red of the Punch and Judy theatre contrasts with that and with the muted colour of the sand. There was something in the scene which spoke of anticipation as well, in that wait for the crowds to arrive and the performance to begin.