Many a poetic efforts have started with the lines “Rose are red, Violets are blue, etc”. With many favoring the reds of life, some wonder about the blues.
The cool blue of tranquil waters has drawn many artist to find oasis of peace for their works. The fiery brilliance of red often the bi-product of many peaceful blue meditations.
Working in quiet has been the secret sauce of many so called overnight successes. In nature, color is just a frequency of energy. One being cooler than the other, in human terms. But just raw energy in natural terms.
Today, we do a small study of the color blue.
Case Study Blue
The word “Monday” brings a lot of feelings to many. The phrase “Monday Blues” captures a lot of the sentiments that washes over the labor force of most industrial nations. The sinking feeling of having to toil and grind just leaves a taste of blues that won’t fully go away with a pint of coffee.
That feeling one gets when pining over a love not yet fulfilled. The desiring of affection that is not yet coming. The wanting of more that is just out of reach has many feeling blue.
While often the color used to denote a level of melancholy, blue is also a powerful color of tranquility. The “ocean blue” connecting us with vitality and life. Without water, this planet would not be filled with such diversity of species.
Few other forces known to nature has the power of water. It can put out raging red fires, it can nourish entire megalopolis. While the winds of life can stir the water into raging waves, the cooling effects of water can temper even the wildest of storms. (hurricanes need hot water for energy… and cool waters sap the most ardent of cyclones into calming itself down). Water has carved out canyons and move countless tonnage of earth.
Ocean Blue. Sea Blue. Pacific Blue. Crystal Blue. Atlantic Blue. All blues of water to denote the power of life.
Blue in photography
While some manufacture have set the cameras to highlight and feature the color green in photos, a few have set their sights on blue. It makes sense to have green stand out crisply and beautifully. Grass is best when it is greenest. However, the aspirations of blue has it’s merits.
No one likes a dull sky. No one likes the dreary feeling of a less than rich blue sky. It’s the promise of the infinite, the possible, the dreams, the heights of creativity.
When an opportunity arises to capture some blues, one has to be prepared to showcase the color in it’s best hue.
The Real Case Study of Blue
A dear friend of the blog… caught the imagination of this writer.
Dressed in a lovely white jacket and blue blouse, it was as if she floated in from the clouds wrapped in dreams of a bright future. Yes, my friend is one of those quiet dreamer types. You know her more by her actions than by her words. Not that she’s not filled with positive supportive words.
I got to know her through her actions of kindness, love, and generosity. Quiet strength. Constant positivity. Her fashion is just the tip of the iceberg of passionate living fueled by love.
At the time of the photo session, my thoughts were set on showcasing how magnificent the choice of blue was. In my opinion… I think the color is called Aqua Blue. I will leave the official name to the fashion experts.
At that time, I was not the strongest photographer I could be. However, I knew that capturing this look would push my skills further. I had to show off her smile, her eyes, and her blue blouse in a balanced way.
Of course, being the person I was back then, I played with the color a bit too much in post processing. But that is what learning is all about. Evidence will be shared in the project part of the site… all links supplied at the end.
Lessons from such a case study
Shooting anything that has white in broad daylight is a bit tricky. I’m sure the top professionals find it easy. White is so bright. It can easily drown out any light colored blues you want to highlight.
I put the bulk of my focus on getting the camera to focus on the blue of the outfit. I felt it was OK to ‘blow out’ the white of the jacket as it was not the part of the shoot I wanted to focus on. The details were less important to me.
The second most important detail for me, in that shoot, was her face. I had to make sure her face got all the attention it deserved.
To that end, I slightly under exposed the photos… with the assumption I could correct in post processing. Today, I probably would have focused more on her face and made sure the exposure was spot on. This would allow the details of the jacket and blouse to come out a bit better. Less “blow out” of the white.
Today, I’d use a bit of help from a reflective surface to bring out the details of her face as well. I’m posing the theory that I’d use the flash to help bring out the blue of the blouse… but… without setting up time to redo this shoot… I can’t say with certainty.
What I can say with certainty, it was a lot of fun doing this shoot. The subtle nuances of all the colors she blended is part of the challenge that made this so much fun. The gray skirt and the multi colors of her heels added to the touch of challenge.
Much like the peace of the color blue, my friend is a peaceful woman by nature who nourishes the souls of her friends and loved ones. The calming force that brings a smile to all she touches.
Her generosity will always be mentioned as she was instrumental in my growth as a photographer. Especially when I was testing various ideas that I found elusively vexing to master.
Today, we’re not able to shoot much at all. I’m a dad building my own home. She’s a supermom building her own. Schedules are complex. I’m just honored and totally blessed to have had time to do some sessions and learn so much along the way.
If you’ve got a friend who is of the powerful calming blue variety, cherish them. They’re smart, they’re cool, they’re amazing. And they’re not as common as you’d think.
When photographing the color blue, be aware that it is as tough as shooting the sky and making it look perfect. Our eyes do this effortlessly. The camera will have it’s preferences. Working with the type of camera you have and adjusting accordingly… will allow you to have your own sweet study of the color blue.
Yeah, I’m fully aware that cell phones makes this whole case study almost mute… as their algorithms are really good. Same with social media filters. But, to those who still do old school DSLR shooting… hope this proved encouraging.
Until next time, happy shooting of all the colors you hold dear. Feel free to share this post and more importantly, click on the like button to encourage your writer to create more for you to enjoy.
Attached below will be a list of all the other blog posts and project posts made about and around the topic of my friend :)
List of blog posts
- Case Study Blue - In poetry, roses are red and violets are blue... in photography it's all about the right hue Taking inspiration from an old photo session to write a story.... with a few lessons.
- Having Blues over Blue - Sharing a few lessons from mistakes I made in my early photo days. It's good to learn from the past. This is a rare case of showing the "bad" before sharing the "good" when feeling blue about photography... like... missing the days of shooting for leisure
- The Gate Keeper - A photo session years ago sparked a lot of lessons about how to pose a model. Today, a bit of fiction, inspired by the photos, comes to you to create a mood. My friend modeled... the mind created. Enjoy
- A Thank You Collection - Taking a little moment to give some credit where it's due. The person featured in this post has given me countless long hours of her time to help me become a better photographer. This is just a small token of thanks for the active support you give me always Thanks!!!
- A Twinkle in the Eye - The sun broke through the clouds, the scene was perfect. He was gazing into her eyes, leaning in for the sweetest kiss when..... Cut. Hold on!! Take two! That magic moment may just well be lost....
- When quitting seems very appealing - Grit. Keep going after your dreams. Don't give up on yourself. Enjoy the photography story and take care of your health too.
List of Projects
First serious attempt to capture eyes in the evening… an epic fail.. but…
A very successful summer evening photo session of a dear friend
When the sun recognizes the beauty of a queen’s soul.. it often will kiss her softly… letting her beauty radiate for others to see… and be inspired.
Poetic musics based off a photo session and friendship.
A picture essay of the color Blue… Aqua Blue to be exact.
When a friend graces the day in full radiance… and allows you to do some photos… it’s a beautiful day indeed.