I started this exercise in my sketchbook. I began to think about when I was at school and we were learning about colours. I remember we had different tables for each of the different colours and each week we would have to bring in something different to go on the table. I remember having a batch of plastic toy cats in different colours which used to help out each week when I was struggling. I had an idea to photograph or look at all the things I associated with my colour – Red and balance this with its complimentary in some way.
Anyway, in one of my random blog and internet reads of the day I came across the work of Emily Blincoe a freelance photographer much of her work centers around color and natural light, including the ongoing series Colors Organised Neatly which includes various objects from candies to plants. Emily has amassed an impressive following on Instagram where she has almost 100,000 followers. This is the sort of notions that was running through my head but obviously I wanted to try my own slant on this. http://www.flickr.com/photos/emilyblincoe/sets/ http://twistedsifter.com/2013/11/color-coded-objects-organized-neatly-emily-blincoe/ I also was thinking about how we associate certain things with certain colours. I came across the work of Andre Britz. http://www.behance.net/gallery/Color-Morphology/11226879 by Andre Britz The colour of the fruits really alters your viewing of the fruit and I began to think that perhaps I could experiment with something like this in my posters for example make something which is typically red – green and vice versa. I went onto creating a red mood/ idea board from found and my own images and sketched out some ideas in my sketchbook which I typically associate with red.
Things that were running through my head were the associations I have red. I have a picture of me in a red dress when I was at my prom and I remember feeling really confident and feminine in it. To me red says glamour, sophistication, sex, power, seduction . Typical images I was thinking about were red hair, make up products – lipstick, red nails, lady in red – dress, roses, red buses, blood – life and vains, red shoes, queen of hearts, red riding hood, red phone boxes. All these things are designed to stand out and be seen and to me red in all these instances says attraction or desire. I also came across some red sky and tree images and thought about how the red contrasted with the green foliage which made it stand out even more. With all these ideas in my head I decided to create a sort of seductive red scene with red lips, hair, nails etc and have my red dress feature in the image. I experimented with different combinations of red and used a lot of different colour and filters in my image. I quite liked the idea but wasn’t sure it was quite what I had in mind. In this instance I added the word Red in a vampire like font but thinking about feedback from my tutor on previous occassions, I’m not entirely sure that it really adds anything to the image and looks a bit lost. Later deveopments lead me to add the type Lady in Red which I think had more meaning. Moving on I thought about red riding hood and having some sort of silhouette against the green trees. I sketched out a red riding hood image and then did some photoshop experiments with colour adjusts and filters but again I felt that this didn’t really communication something about the colour red.
At this stage I decided to have a rethink and went to the collection of red images idea and thought about why each of these was red and the associations we place on things. I was thinking about red packaging like Heinz tomato sauce and soup, Kit Kats and Maltesers and the famous red Coca Cola can. I got my camera out and tried various combinations of food and other red images and felt these images were showing more the balance of red colours and associations. However, that being said were these really what I had in mind and were these alone enough of a poster?? Moving on I began to think of the typical associations people have with red and in particular Christmas time! I visited the Edinburgh xmas markets and took some pictures homing in on red and green looking at flowers and decor. I also was lucky enough to visit Gothenburg and had my camera at the ready to take lots of pictures. I had an image of the tree in the Dome in Edinburgh and a few of chrsitmas trees and russian dolls which I worked into some experiments. I then decided to go back to my original red dress idea and worked in some red playing cards queen of heart idea as a backdrop and recoloured one of my rose photographs adding in some red nails to create another variation which I thought was a lot stronger. I decided this was probably the strongest image visually which to me does communicate something about red and shows a balance of different tints and red shades contrasting with a small bit of green from the rose surround. Looking at my other images I felt the all red camera photo was quite strong and the white lid of the perfume bottle contrasted well with this. However I also liked my scottish shortbread tin red photo so wasn’t sure whether this should have been one of my choices instead – I think I’d like my tutors thoughts on that one. Lastly I decided that my Lady in Red image with the rose was quite strong and although I had variations with a red and green forest backdrop I think I like the red rose image. I selected a coca cola inspired font which I think subconsciously reinforces the Red associations and used various shades and tints of red to create a strong almost red riding/ lady in red inspired image.
Overall I enjoyed this exercise but initially did find it hard to settle on what I wanted to communicate in my image and was aware that over complicating my poster with too many different random red things looked a bit disjointed. The camera experiments I think have promise but obviously as I work on my photography skills these could be improved. I think in this instance as in a lot of cases I’m learning that sometimes the simplest combinations of shapes and colours etc can be most effective and visually striking.
After tutor report
To be honest with this assignment I didn’t feel entirely happy with the outcome and when I received my tutor feedback I agreed with his comments that the red dress, rose etc image was too cliched and that there was more promise in either my red objects or Christmas idea and that these would offer me more scope to provide a different creative argument for red. I think I was overly focused on trying to represent the colour and make it something which was associated with Red. I went back to some of my red objects and a few ideas which I wanted to try out.
Other ideas I had
A suicide note/ love letter with red ink? spilled perhaps with black and white? * A red silk nightie on a rope / hung out to dry – could this be a risky item amongst more everyday objects. Then I was thinking about the red tie and slippers maybe having these with other objects like a book and glasses on a bedside table ? I set to work with my camera to see what I could come up with.
I set up a few bedroom scenes with red slippers and experimented with having a red nightie a washing line but this looked odd. I also experimented with some image of a church with a red door and conveniently caught red car outside.
I also had some veggie sushi for the first time and liked the black and white in the image bringing out the red but felt it didn’t particularly communicate anything about red.
I think the slipper image below is quite strong but I also semi arranged/ happened upon a dining table scene set out with a red flower and chair and I think this has quite a strong narrative and makes you think whats going on in the scene – is it a romantic date ? yet the table is set for more than one person and the chair is quite worn and aged.
I think these images are a lot simpler and more effective than my earlier red attempts but I’m going to ask my tutor for some feedback again.