Last weekend was the York Motor Show, it has been held every year since 2004 and usually draws a big turn out of cars and visitors. This means that a walk down Avon Terrace can be a hazardous matter as the pedestrian is blinded by the sun glistening off of the duco and the gleaming chrome trim. Unfortunately this years event was marred by the weather – it was a cloudy grey day with occasional drizzle. Drizzle is a weather form I don’t really associate with Western Australia, it’s more a dank dour dreary weather form for the UK, or Tasmania. Western Australia is all about big blue skies with occasional heavy rain storms in winter. Anyway I digress – 18 months in Tasmania has meant that I think and talk about meteorological conditions far more than I should. So despite the fickleness of the weather those who did turn up were very enthusiastic and had a good time.
Although my late father worked for many years in the car industry selling luxury cars such as Jensen, BMW and Mercedes , I must confess that I have virtually zero interest in them. What I do enjoy is the spectacle of events such as these and the photo opportunities they present. I enjoyed a fun couple of hours walking up and down taking photos and talking to people. At events like this people are only too happy to talk about their pride and joy and photographing it is a form of showing how you appreciate their efforts. It’s almost rude not to take a photo. Photographically speaking shooting events like these is akin to shooting fish in a barrel. I used one body, a 15mm ultra wide-angle, a 35mm moderate wide-angle and a 75mm short telephoto. The two wide-angles seeing the most action. A couple of spare batteries (not needed despite over 300 shots taken) and a large empty memory card completed the kit. Travelling light means that walking up and down is an enjoyable experience.
Todays musical reference was a single by British group Madness. The band burst on to music scene in 1976 as part of the ska revival channeling such influences as Prince Buster and their first hit in 1979 directly referenced him and their later track Al Capone was another reference. By the time “I Like Driving In My Car” came out in 1982 the band had abandoned their Jamaican inspired groove and had become more mainstream pop occasionally breaking out into quirky songs such as this one.
Last weeks blog post was a bit unintentionally monochromatic. Although I like working in black and white I am I feel more of a colour photographer. In a previous post I mentioned it was Fujichrome RD50 and its successor that really turned me onto colour. To be honest though I’m not sure that I like many of us use colour effectively when we make our photographs. Colours are very powerful communicators and they have spawned their own fields of academia colour psychology and colour symbolism. Colour symbolism refers to the use of colour throughout a culture and is studied by anthropologists. Colour Psychology refers to investigating the effect of colour on human behaviour. The results are mainly anecdotal and the study generally falls under the heading of a pseudo-science and is regarded as a New Age phenomenon. Both terms are used to express the use of colour in a historical and cultural context. Cross cultural diversity may make interpretation difficult i.e.
In Western Cultures white has signified purity, virginity and wisdom. It is the colour worn at weddings. In Asia white is associated with death and is the colour worn traditionally at funerals.
In Western Culture pink is seen as feminine and wholesome, but in Japan pink is the colour associated with pornography.
Here is a brief run down of what various colours mean giving both the positive and negative connotations.
positive attributes are security, reliability, elegance, humility, respect, reverence, subtlety, wisdom and old age
negative attributes are anachronism, depression, boredom, decay, decrepitude, dullness, pollution
negative: arrogance, danger, blood, war, anger, rebellion, revolution, aggression, the devil. Red can have the physiological response of increasing blood pressure and respiration and it stimulates hunger which is why many fast food chains use the colour in their logos and decor.
This is only the tip of the iceberg, but it gives enough clues as to why some of my photos may appeal more to viewers than others. People love sunsets because of the reds, yellows and orange hues, although a bit of a photographic cliché they make people feel warm, happy, positive, and hopeful. Seascapes are popular too with the various shades of blue denoting calmness, peace, tranquility, refreshment and confidence.
The photos accompanying this entry are of the 2008 Perth Inter Hash. The Inter Hash is an event organised by the Hash House Harriers, a club for drinkers who have a running problem. I went into Perth not knowing that this event was happening but as I crossed the concourse from the rail station into Forest Chase I could see all these people dressed in red and so I decided to follow them on their opening parade as they walked through the Perth CBD. The intensity of the light mixed with the brilliant reds made for a very compelling sight. The faintly ridiculous nature of the costumes over powered any of the negative symbolism of the colour and just highlighted the positive ones.
Certainly when looking at making a photo in the future I’m going to try to pay more attention to the colour element and use that in the composition.