So, I’m thinking about assignment three ‘colour’ for my The Art of Photography course. While this assignment doesn’t state a theme is required I thought after feedback on my last two assignments I should look at how I could link my photos for this assignment.
As it happens, I’m heading to Manchester on Sunday for the Chinese New Year celebrations taking place there. It will include a few stage-shows/demonstrations, a Dragon parade and will conclude with a firework display in the evening.
I’ve been along taking pictures of the Manchester Chinese New Year celebrations for the past two years – so I began my research looking at my own shots prior to moving on to looking at what others have done. One thing that immediate stood out is that, while colourful, the range of colours on display were actually quite limited – and generally man-made. These shots illustrate quite simply what I mean:
This shot of a dragon parade, which I found on the Guardian Eyewitness app on my iPad, further reinforces what my pictures show in terms of limited colours. Generally the dominating colours are the warm colours – red, yellow, orange (and gold). It’ll work for pictures illustrating colour harmony through similar colours, but it really is representing a limited part of the colour circle.
As the image below shows (and those linked to) getting colour accent shots for the assignment are also likely to come from within the same set of colours as above:
These shots also have similar colours, showing the limits of what I might encounter on Sunday:
Of course all these types of shots are essentially ‘found’ shots, and the assignment specifically calls for a mix of ‘found’ and arranged (still-life) shots. It may therefore be the case I could find items and props that could be used within the theme in arrangements, so its something for me to keep an eye out for when I’m in Manchester.
Other considerations are paying attention to the crowds there to enjoy (or avoid!) the celebrations – I’ll keep an eye out for contrasting colours and different colour combinations of those around me.
Another thought is that I could contrast the celebrations and shapes with the fairly drab surroundings in Manchester and – according to the forecast so far – the weather.
I might also look at expanding the theme slightly; to follow the story of my visit to the celebrations. Or to deal with ‘celebration’ more broadly – though I’m keen to stick to something fairly narrow as it stands.
I will be taking a further look around for ideas and inspiration to fit the theme and assignment on Saturday. Naturally, if anybody has ideas on elements of Chinese tradition (particularly around New Year celebrations) that might give me a broader palette of colours to work with I’d be happy to hear them!!