May — A Year in Photographs / by Adrian Galli

Honolulu Blue, Chicago, 5/4/2017

Honolulu Blue, Chicago, 5/4/2017

May was a particularly challenging month. The theme: Color. The challenge: sharing color images, only, but the subject must be a different color than the rest of the image. Each image named after the color and their color values as just a bit of trivia.

Starting out, I had a rather tight beginning to May and my schedule. I didn’t quite get off on the right foot. In fact, this was a month of mild frustration when is came to photography. I felt the most out of my element since the beginning of this project.

Candy Apple Red, Chicago, 5/1/2017

Candy Apple Red, Chicago, 5/1/2017

I find my color photography only lends itself to color when the photograph is best in color. In other words, as I’m capturing a photograph, I usually know then and there whether it will be black and white or color. Black and white is a comfortable place for me to photograph. I can “see” in black and white and I know what to expect when I convert my color image to black and white.

Color is really the same way. I literally see in color but there is a twist. I color image right out of the camera is rarely compelling. Why so many people use or used different film stock is to gain a certain style or look to their image.

The beauty of digital photography is one gets pretty much what one sees and then has the opportunity to apply their style to the image in post production. There lies the challenge. With black and white, the image might have a red filter or blue filter applied, higher or lower contrast, but over all, it will simply be black and white. That statement belies complexity of shooting black and white but color has a wide range of variables much harder to imagine.

Urobilin, Chicago, 5/8/2017

Urobilin, Chicago, 5/8/2017

The frustration was more or less the time I did not have to pursue this theme to my perfectionist conclusion. However, I found it compelling because I had to use several past themes to help sort out my vision. One theme in particular, April’s theme, Minimalism.

To have a subject stand out from the background as the only object in the image to maintain its color is a challenge. Urobilin, brought minimalism and color together. It ended up being in the middle of the pack when it comes to my favorite photographs of the months but it exemplifies the essence of the theme of Color.

On the other hand, People was my March theme and occasionally also popped up as with Sinopia, KU Crimson, and Portland Orange.

Sinopia, Chicago, 5/17/2017

Sinopia, Chicago, 5/17/2017

There were numerous automative images and staged photographs. Many food photos worked their way in which I rarely shoot but one’s kitchen is full of color. And the one thing I noticed most about this endeavor, aside for the challenge, it how little color people wear, or things in the city appear in color. There are places in this world where the lack of color would be the exception of the rule but, here in Chicago, while the city is beautiful, it does not share of the color of say Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.

While this month did not bring as many outstanding photographs has past months, two valuable ideals came from this theme.

  1. Learning what you don’t want is equally as important as what you do want.
  2. Being the most challenging theme thus far, it was a huge learning experience and honed a certain virtue of minimalism, in which I had little experience.

Like People, I will continue this theme as a branch of A Year in Photographs but June is here and, as such, a new theme: Architecture. I am certain to enjoy this month in one of my favorite subjects of both photography and vocations and can not wait to start sharing photographs of June.

Up next: JuneArchitecture

Color — May