Showing colours

Rain in Lüneburg

Going for colours

On a rainy day like this dreadful wet winter day colours become an heart opener.

Imagine that lady coming out of the shop would have a dark umbrella and black bag on top of her black clothes. You’d think she’s a widow or the like. You wouldn’t believe she’s prepared for any kind of fun. Without thinking twice you would take it for granted that there is more shadow on her mind than simply being an earnest person.

These two remarkable red spots are changing your inner picture of the lady completely. Now she’s a person dressed in pretentious black intending to keep strangers at bay. She’s still a serious lady who made it perfectly clear, she chosed her outfit with great care. Look at her boots. It is not possible to evaluate from a distance whether her clothing is pricy, you get it quick, it’s not just casual, but the heavy pink umbrella and basket make it a modern one.

When you start as a street photographer you react to such signals without knowing why. By interpreting photographs by the hundreds and thousands and shooting quite a lot you begin to understand what made you push the release button. More often than not you don’t; and I’d say it might even be better not to know precisely beforehand. So it’s more like opening a big surprise package when you weed through your photos at home after you have gone for a shooting of people in the street.

The final moment of decision comes at home in front of your computer. There is no question of the correct exposure or any other technical problem to solve any more. The only question that matters is to clearly affirm if the image to judge tells a story. Hopefully, an interesting one. Let it be a subtle one, but as a street photographer you are at best the capturer of life. You are not going to catch the big event on a daily base. But the more time you have invested in watching people and interpreting photos the more you will be tuned to reveal little behavioral secrets.

So what’s that lady’s little secret with the screaming pink umbrella? Going on a shopping tour in that lousy weather is not the most comfortable occupation. Why wouldn’t she relax on her sofa and read a pleasant book? The money she chunks down the drain seems to burn a hole in her pocket. She’s not only getting her errands. All you can tell for sure is that she likes to be fashionable. I’d say she’s rather on the vain side. The red tone is telling me that.  The tones of the pouch and umbrella are not simply a contrasty red, they are yelling at you. They say: “Ok, I have to be a serious and respectable person, but I’m not dead inside. I do have dreams and longings and you shall see that. Maybe you won’t believe me, but I try to keep pace with modern society. I do take small risks, I’m not that old and wordly-wise not daring to be bold”.

Well. What do you say? You totally disagree? I don’t mind, give me a hint, I’d love to hear about it.

And don’t speak about the sharpness! Go into that messy weather yourself and get a dead sharp photo while passing by.


One thought on “Showing colours

  1. An interesting photo, but even more interesting is what you say about this woman. Wouldn’t have thought of that, though it’s absolutely convincing.
    I also like the wet tiles in front of the shop. Together with the woman’s gear the picture is full of atmosphere.

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