finding myself in color
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As you all know, I am a B&W artist. B&W has spoken to me since the very first moment. As an spectator I have always felt so curious and fascinated by B&W photography. Loved the feelings it always provoked to my heart. Loved the intrigue and the drama. Loved the conversion of simple things and moments into pieces of art through the blacks, whites and all the greys in between.
I started my photography journey a little more than five years ago. Despite during all this time I found myself as a B&W artist, I was not able to find myself as a color artist. Which is totally fine with me but at the same time I wanted to be able to express my stories that spoke to my heart in color, in color! The problem I had is that despite I did many color edits, I found myself liking many of them and appreciating the beauty in the bright colors but it was never me! as the artist behind. The worst thing was feeling that I knew exactly the color artist that I wanted to be but I just was not able to materialize it in my post processings. Very frustrating when you know what you want, where you want to be but you just do not have an idea how to arrive there.
I knew I wanted my images in color to be as dramatic as my images in B&W’s. I knew I wanted to be consistent with the feelings that my photographs provoke in my audience. I love the mystery, the drama, the intensity and even the infinite stories behind that I find in many of my black and whites, but what about my colors? It was not the same feeling that I felt was coming from them. I found myself expressing my soul so deeply in my monochromatics but not as much in my color conversions.
And this is what I did just a few weeks ago: I went out of my comfort zone and decided to make peace with LR (I have worked only with photoshop for all these years and have been so intimidated by the unknown in new editing software) and I got presets to make my life easier and play with steps already created by other artists in order not to feel intimidated by a whole new post processing world. I purchased many of them. I played with many presets. I took my time to see which represented what I wanted to portrait and which did not. I disregarded some, and I embraced some others that were amazing tools to personalize with my work and my editing skills. I used curves in PS and played in LR. Still do not know how to work with it but little by little I will get there. It has been a fun process. It has been like exploring new land and stopping in those places where I felt in peace.
Love the drama in the color as much as I love the drama in B&W’s. Love the roughness of the dimmed colors. Love the mystery on the greys, the matte and the grain. I knew i wanted to relate my color photographs with film looking edits. Rough, artsy, imperfect. I knew I wanted those edits that look as old as the stories behind – even if they just happened. Wanted that unique look where many people would say “why did she do this?” “why did she killed this light?” “why did she preferred this wash out color and not the brightness behind?”… all those whys behind a piece of art is what i find make it even more interesting.
So I am still in the pursue of my soul in color. And I wanted to share this with you because for some reason many people think that I have it all figured out as an artist and after so many years, I am still trying to translate my ideas of my photography in color in my actual work. I am sure I am not close where I want to be yet, but I have loved the idea of finding myself and I know is a great beginning.
I am taking risks to let my heart speak. And it feels sooooo good. Sharing the journey.
Below are some of my images which were already edited by me in photoshop, and just added some steps in LR using presets purchased in the Blissful Maven site.
It has been fun and I love the artsy dramatic feeling in them. Hope you like them too.
p h o t o s b y c r i s s t e p h e n s