On the Avenue, Fifth Avenue, 2012
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Isn’t it amazing how a little red makes a picture stand out?
I could be wrong. But I don’t think there’s a picture that can’t be improved by adding a little red. Or blue or green or yellow, for that matter. Fact is, I’m going to go to bat for all the primary colors.
I’m not much on shades. Colors like “sea foam,” “almond toast,” “Biloxi,” “ruffled clam,” “warm cocoon” and “burnt sienna” don’t do anything for me. I mean, really, what does “warm cocoon” look like? Is it something you’d want on a wall around you all the time? And given all the combustible things in the world, I wonder how long it took someone to get around to burning sienna just to see what the color would look like?
Look at this pair of pictures. There’s nothing remarkable about either. I might have normally tossed them out in the first cull. But something about the red in them compelled me to keep them around a little longer.
The picture above was taken late last Friday afternoon on Fifth Avenue in New York. There was nothing special going on in it. People were just their way home from work. But then the lady in the red jacket walked into the scene and all of a sudden it came alive for me.
In the photo below, I was initially taken by the reflected light some early morning tourists at Rockefeller Center. It would have actually been a pretty dull scene except for the guy in the red jacket. An otherwise dull scene was enlivened by the red jacket and the light on the guy’s face.
I didn’t engage with either of these people. I didn’t set out to photograph them. But by virtue of the colors they were wearing the scenes became all about them.
Singled Out in Red, 2012