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Paint Me Orange?

Orange Day Lily

I photograph 99% in color. I like bright, contrasty, colorful images, and rarely “see” an image in B&W. Its just my style.

While recently reviewing my catalog of images, going back many years, it occurred to me, somewhat to my surprise, that I have a substantial body of work that could be categorized as “orange;” maybe even the majority of my images!

Asiatic "Tiger" Lilies

Red is a color that stands out and creates contrast. I tend to seek it out, particularly in Fall foliage images. If anyone asked me what my favorite image colors were, I would probably have answered, red, yellow, and black. It may explain why Fall, and its often brilliantly colored foliage is one of my favorite subjects and why Fall is my favorite season. My perception has always been that great foliage images (at least in the East) have lots of red. Fall also yields yellows, particularly in the American West (Hmnn. What do you get when you mix red and yellow?). It should come as no surprise that the majority of fall foliage falls somewhere between yellow and the brilliant reds we so often seek; or shades of orange.

I "saw red" while photographing this scene, but the red barn demonstrates that the predominant hue here is orange.

Looking at the orange images, I also am aware that Brown is a color that seems related to orange. While not really a shade of orange, brown, like orange is a warm color, and often appears in nature in the same context as orange appears. Color theory tells us that we get brown by mixing equal parts of red and green. So again, it should not be surprising that with so much green in nature, that when the green culprit – chlorophyll- stops being produced, Fall shows so many reds, yellows and creates so many oranges and browns.

Reflection of Fall Color; Shiawassee River, Owosso, MI

My unscientific research (a cursory review of my own images) tells me that I am drawn to the color orange much more often than I realized. Lately, I have been thinking more and more in terms of specific “portfolios” and what it is about my images and “portfolios” that is unique. It is normal, I think, to think about a portfolio in terms of subjects (e.g., barns, water, reflections, etc.). Orange is more abstract. It is intriguing to think about orange as a photographe and perhaps portfolio subject. The realization that I have been—maybe subliminally—drawn to orange, will perhaps make me seek out orange more often as a photographic subject. Or at least be more aware of orange in my surroundings.

Orange you glad I posted this?

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5 Responses

  1. You’re even are wearing a shade of orange in your signature photo Andy, 🙂
    Another well written and entertaining blog.

  2. Interesting observation. Amazing what stares us in the face but we don’t see it in a certain way. I think most of us photographers look at and think about a scene for a long time to see what can be made of it. Sounds like you’re just getting around to seeing this. I’ve heard similar things happen with sounds. Our brain shuts them out until someone points one out. And then we hear it consciously. It was there all the time.

  3. Of course maybe you just need to synchronize your monitor. hahahahahahahahahahahahaha

  4. Halloween a favorite holiday? 🙂

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