Teresa Pilcher Photography

The Colour Red

“If I don’t have red, I use blue..”  “If there is some red spot on one of my paintings it is unlikely to be the heart of the work. The painting was done regardless of it. You could remove the red and still the painting would be there. But in Matisse’s work it is inconceivable that you could remove a spot of red, no matter how small without the entire painting instantly collapsing.’ Pablo Picasso

I have always loved the work of Matisse, each colour he adds to his canvas is meant to be there, every brush stroke is intentional.  In photography, if we treat our images like a canvas, we see which elements are essential and which are distractions.

While in Paris, I choose the theme of Red. It is a warm and strong colour that draws our eye, so gives a subject emphasis which means our eye lands on this element first. So what is in the Symbolism of a colour? Red has many meanings, in many cultures.. In ancient times it was rare and expensive to produce so imbues qualities of magic and power. It is the colour of fire and blood, it symbolises energy and life. It stands out before all other colours, therefore it is the international symbol for stop. In Asian countries it is an auspicious colour that brings happiness, good fortune or luck. In Africa it is linked with mourning.

The Red Dress . The Louvre Paris 2015
In this image the couple were waiting as the photographer was testing the lighting, but it was a found subject and I did not communicate with them at all. We could say that this is not strictly Street..What can I say, I like to break the rules but I simply could not resist the Romance of the moment and the colour Red in the scene. I believe in being transparent with my work. I have also added the reflection in the foreground as the pool was drained. This is not something I normally would do but for me it is about capturing the feeling of what I saw rather than the actuality. It is all about the presentation..If I publish this image I would not present it as a Street Photo more of Fine Art Image and Yes I can sell this image but not use it commercially or for advertising purposes.
A Tangle of Dogs. Paris 2015

This image was taken looking down onto the walkway beside the Seine River. The ladies were walking their dogs together and at this moment the dogs decided to have a play fight. No dogs were injured in this photo. In post processing I have decreased the saturation for most of the image, but increased the saturation in the red tones. I approach every image individually and instinctively so the processing can take anywhere between 3 days to 3 months. After I finish I like to leave it a day or so to come back with fresh eyes.

The Red Cello. Paris 2015
 This final image was taken waiting in line outside Notre Dame Cathedral. The decisive moment places her at full stride in front the lighter backdrop to allow for separation, this meant she is placed central in the image but it was the best choice in this situation. Choosing a colour as a theme, links your photographs together as a collection, which is great for entering competitions or compiling books and projects. I am currently working on a few projects to upload to my Lens Culture profile… Watch this space. T
What projects are you working on at the moment?

Teresa Pilcher

Teresa Pilcher Photography A Blog on Street Photography

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