View Full Version : color, color and color.

02-07-2005, 08:06 PM
I know many of you are biaised over color and perhaps fed up of reading us write endlessly about BW oldtime folks.
But we all have our favorite color photogs, for instance Sohrab has a sweet tooth on DA.Harvey, though I can't say whether it's for his compositional skills or his use of color.

We have for long talked about BW photogs but let's speak about color now, will you?

Not talking about McCurry a quite classic color photog, nor Webb and Harvey who I pigeonhole neighboring one to another. No, no that would be walking in the same domcumentay aimed paths : I will go straight to photographers for whom color is a subject in its own... in fact I find them as interesting or even more than the usual RGB suspects.

Ok they're Magnum photographers but not exactly in the straight documentary field, something like the missing link between contemporary art and documentary. These people have made color their first choice over perhaps the usual shapes concerns, though they can bring meaning.

Personnaly, I think they have brought out the power of color and its real benefits over BW without the arty fluff around (do you hear me Philip? ;)...) What do you think about these 3 photographers?

<a href="http://www.magnumphotos.com/cf/htm/FramerT_MAG.aspx?Stat=Portfolio_DocThumb&V=CDocT&E=2TYRYDYJE8B6&DT=ALB" target="_blank">Georgui Pinkhassov</a>
<a href="http://www.magnumphotos.com/cf/htm/FramerT_MAG.aspx?Stat=Portfolio_DocThumb&V=CDocT&E=2TYRYDZYA7IZ&DT=ALB" target="_blank">Miguel Rio Branco</a>
<a href="http://www.magnumphotos.com/cf/htm/FramerT_MAG.aspx?Stat=Portfolio_DocThumb&V=CDocT&E=2TYRYDZTXNIV&DT=ALB" target="_blank">Harry Gruyaert</a>

02-07-2005, 08:59 PM
these guys are good
i especially like miguel rio branco out of the 3
his photographs are so minimalistic, i mean the compositions, yet powerful.
also there is a certain MOOD in these photographs..
i think it has to do with his command over the light. the colours are beautiful
he seems to have used artificial lighting a great deal and he's used it so well. i guess thats one of the things you like about his photographs.
there is something in his photographs that remind me of harvey's photographs.. i don't really know what it is..
you're right. all the 3 photographs seem far from art.

you're also right about my being crazy about harvey's work. while mccurry has his power in his colours and his portraits and you know those moments.. his photographs are quite "perfect' in terms of composition. i like mccurry a lot , but he's one photographer who although i like, i can get a little bored of after a while.
maybe it's because i don't expect a surprise if i open his gallery.

on the other hand, not only do i like harvey's colours, they all seem to be quite unreal, and not only is it for his compositions..
but it's also for the feel and the atmosphere in his photographs..
you know... like i mentioned to lisan in one of my posts to her, he is one photographs who catches so much timelessness in his photographs..
and there is just so much romance in his photographs..
so much energy....
flavour.. etc etc etc :)
i doubt i'm making any sense here

for example
<a href="http://www.magnumphotos.com/cf/htm/CDocZ_MAG.aspx?Stat=DocThumb_DocZoom&o=&DT=ALB&E=2K7O3RJT54EL&Pass=&Total=66&Pic=2&SubE=2K7O3R3CJU7E">1</a>
<a href="http://www.magnumphotos.com/cf/htm/CDocZ_MAG.aspx?Stat=DocThumb_DocZoom&o=&DT=ALB&E=2K7O3RJT54EL&Pass=&Total=66&Pic=15&SubE=2S5RYD9LAKQ">2</a>
<a href="http://www.magnumphotos.com/cf/htm/CDocZ_MAG.aspx?Stat=DocThumb_DocZoom&o=&DT=ALB&E=2K7O3RJT54EL&Pass=&Total=66&Pic=17&SubE=2S5RYDWD12PQ">3</a>
<a href="http://www.magnumphotos.com/cf/htm/CDocZ_MAG.aspx?Stat=DocThumb_DocZoom&o=&DT=ALB&E=2K7O3RJT54EL&Pass=&Total=66&Pic=27&SubE=2S5RYDI5QMG4">4- a national geographic cover page</a>
<a href="http://www.magnumphotos.com/cf/htm/CDocZ_MAG.aspx?Stat=DocThumb_DocZoom&o=&DT=ALB&E=2K7O3RJT54EL&Pass=&Total=66&Pic=34&SubE=2S5RYDW67BLA">5</a>
<a href="http://www.magnumphotos.com/cf/htm/CDocZ_MAG.aspx?Stat=DocThumb_DocZoom&o=&DT=ALB&E=2K7O3RJT54EL&Pass=&Total=66&Pic=52&[email protected]">6</a>
<a href="http://www.magnumphotos.com/cf/htm/CDocZ_MAG.aspx?Stat=DocThumb_DocZoom&o=&DT=ALB&E=2K7O3RJT54EL&Pass=&Total=66&Pic=54&SubE=2K7O3RBAKO36">7-maciej might like this photograph</a>

just given links to a few of his photographs to give example of his composition, colours,romance, feeling, atmosphere etc etc etc...

another colour photographer who i think does some pretty interesting photojournalism in colour is <a href="http://www.magnumphotos.com/cf/htm/FramerT_MAG.aspx?Stat=Portfolio_DocThumb&V=CDocT&E=29YL53TZ4RL&DT=ALB">stuart franklin</a>

02-07-2005, 09:34 PM
also if you havea look at the contact press images site
<a href="http://www.contactpressimages.com/photographers.html">here</a> you'll come across a good mixture of both black and white and colour, although the photographs are in the form of editorial sheets.

also wondering if anyone is interested in having a look at <a href="http://www.nationalgeographic.com/photography/biographies/reza.html">reza deghati's</a> work. he's done alot of work in afghanistan

02-08-2005, 11:04 PM
interesting. thanks for the recommendations. i find that going to the magnum site fills me with option paralysis, so i like to be told what to look at.

weird. the impressionistic qulaity of pinkhassov and rio branco's photos doesn't always sit well with me. i prefer the hyperclarity of pinkhassov's koi photo (fish in quatrefoil formation; woman onlooker's legs) to his "guess what this is" type of picture. i see your point about the missing link between modern art and docu photos. i guess i'm too much on one side of the fence to really appreciate the less straightforward stuff.

rio branco the same. his oeuvre is pretty powerful but then there are points where he loses me almost completely. actually, his pictures have a dreamlike quality to them, they have that kind of mysterious insidious strength.

for me gruyaert has the most straightforward and yet also surprising pictures. his compositions are usually very sharp -- the one of the people in a Moroccan alleyway comes to mind -- the distant figure in black bent double and the yellow stripe on the wall are very striking. there's no guesswork involved in looking at his pictures, which i like, but there's always something a bit off-kilter or unexpected about his compositions.

there's my two canadian cents (= 1.68 cents american)

02-10-2005, 05:57 AM
What, no arty fluff allowed? ok :)

Rio Branco is the one I like best -colour is subordinated to subject, and is used to increase the emotional impact. Interestingly, his subject matter is what we'd normally expect to see done in bw - whores and streekids and the disposessed, les exclus...

The danger with colour is that it can become the subject - which is why bw is still favoured for documentary work. It's erally hard to do what these three are doing.

Henson isn't trying to do documentary work - art photogrpahy tries to elicit a subjective response, not to describe the world. (Sorry, fluff starting, so, I'll stop - but I still edfend Henson! ;).

<a href="http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/Asia/Myanmar/photo140747.htm" target="_blank"> Here's</a> my own attempt to bring colour into the documentary equation.

02-22-2005, 01:42 AM
A bit out of the context of your discussion, but...
As I am trying to be open minded to other types of shots (besides landscape)
So... I followed the links. Especially enjoyed Harvey's and Pinkhassov's work. Really colorful, impressive and strong (although some of Harvey's shots seems staged).

It would be appreciated if you can give direction to some more sites :)