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Color My World

I have been fascinated with cameras since I can remember. My first camera was a Kodak Baby Brownie, shooting 120 roll, Black and White film. I remember carrying it during my first ever visit to my relatives in Vermont. I was probably about 9 or 10 years old. It was the 1960’s and color was not really an option for me then. Somewhere along the line, I graduated to an “Instamatic” camera. But I really wasn’t a photographer, as I define it today, back then. I was a snapshooter. I didn’t really get the “bug” until 10 years later, as a college student in Randolph Center, Vermont, where I was inspired by my professor, John Knox’s Vermont Life work. Vermont Life was about vibrant color! And not surprisingly, my own “vision” tends toward color.

Horseshoe Lake, Huron NF, MI copyright 1997 Andy Richards

Ironically, history honors some of the best known names, who spent their careers becoming known for their Black and White images, Ansel Adams, Henri Cartier Bresson, Dorothea Lange and Alfred Steiglitz, to name but a few. But for me it has always been about color. Color is everywhere. It is in Nature. It is in many man-made things. There are books devoted to color and color theory. With the advent of digital, much of the software we work with involves color management.

Color can be anywhere from “in-your-face,” to subtle. One of my most successful images is the image of Horseshoe Lake, shot early one late Summer morning in the Huron National Forest in Northern Lower Michigan. The image’s near-monochromatic blue is partly a function of the reaction of the Fuji Velvia film I used in those particular light conditions. But in print, there are subtle greens in the reeds and purples and reds in the sky.

The soft pinks, rusts and turquoise in the Madrid, New Mexico shopping strip adobe buildings are telltale colors of the American Southwest.

When I was walking around San Francisco the pastel colored umbrellas and easels in the artist exhibit in Union Square drew my eye immediately.


So often, a plain, cobalt-blue sky is an image killer. But it makes the perfect background to the hundreds of hot air balloons launched at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta each year in early October in Albuquerque, New Mexico. These, bright, colored balloons make wonderful subjects and create great composition opportunities for the color photographer.

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Copyright 2008 Andy Richards

R ecently, I was in the Caribbean.  In Grand Turk, this colorful scene caught my eye.

Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands Copyright 2012 Andy Richards

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