The unconsciousness of color

One of the pleasures of photography is the work of the unconscious. I have been amazed time and time again at the way in which the unconscious eye is more alert than the conscious one.  Here are three pictures I made without any conscious thought of the combination of colours in them. But in each case, that is exactly what attracts me to them.  The above was taken as I passed by this boy in a taxi in the back streets of Chennai.  I think I wanted to get the wall but had no awareness that his shirt mirrored the colors and even the ‘design’ (if we see while stripes on both) of the wall.

Next.  I was trying to see like Raghubir Singh and so made a portrait of this cement mixer in Vishakapatnam.   Only later, back at my computer did I see (to my great pleasure) the colour scheme of the contraption was replicated beautifully and perfectly in the temple in the background.


Finally, (for now), again back in Chennai.  I’ve got a strong interest in the Ambassador and I wanted to capture these big yellow fog lights. Hours later when I was looking at the files I saw the unified colour scheme of yellow and white throughout the frame!

The lesson for me is don’t overthink your photography. Trust your gut. 

A whole new meaning to ‘develop your eye’. Maybe we should meditate as much as we study photography!


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