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Photographer Leverages Vivid Colours to Convey a Visceral Vibe

Polina Washington spent years solely taking pictures and printing black and white movie earlier than adapting highly effective and vibrant colour to inform a narrative in her images.

Connecting with Shade in Images

Based mostly in Saint-Petersburg, Russia, and is at the moment staying in Bali, Indonesia, Washington is a self-described visible explorer. Though she acquired a level in cinematography, she not often if ever labored with synthetic gentle in her images, and solely shot on black and white movie and says didn’t actually perceive colour.

“I by no means imagined images in colour,” Washington tells PetaPixel. “I preferred enjoying with contrasts, silhouettes.”

“I preferred that you might reduce out the superfluous,” she continues. “However in some unspecified time in the future, I simply bought bored with it, and I wished to maneuver on. It wasn’t sufficient for me to do monochrome anymore.”

Using color in photography Using color in photography Using color in photography Using color in photography

Since her artistic swap to paint, Washington nonetheless creates black and white pictures, however solely on uncommon events and largely in conditions when she will be able to’t improve the specified feeling she needs to painting utilizing colour.

Seeing as colour and lightweight go hand in hand for visible storytelling, Washington sees each as two highly effective instruments on this course of.

“Earlier than, I may solely obtain a colour image with coloured gentle, however then I realized to see it in pure gentle as effectively, with the identical processing,” she explains.

Telling a Story with Shade and Mild

Throughout her artistic journey, Washington realized to learn how colour and lightweight have an effect on {a photograph}, and the way to use a mix of each to create cinematic stills with painterly vibes in step with her present images type.

Using color in photography Using color in photography Using color in photography Using color in photography

“Mild can conceal what must be hidden or vice versa — to emphasise one thing vital, so it controls the viewer’s consideration very strongly,” Washington explains. “That’s why I all the time take note of the place the accents of sunshine are directed.”

“Mild additionally helps you separate a personality from the background or merges with it, or focuses consideration,” she continues. “It highlights what’s vital and leaves out what’s not.”

Using color in photography Using color in photography Using color in photography Using color in photography

The dialogue of the results of colour in images is extra visceral. It’s because “we will’t deny {that a} sure wavelength impacts us in a sure approach,” Washington says. “However I attempt to rely by myself emotions and the expertise and remark I’ve in images and portray when selecting colours within the body.”

“I don’t wish to impose a sure situation or emotion on the viewer — I give them the liberty to expertise one thing of their very own as a result of we’re all completely different,” she provides.

Her distinctive images type hasn’t gone unnoticed by Leica both, as Washington — for whom the Leica M-system digital camera had been a long-time dream — was one of many first to strive the brand new Leica M11. Having shot with two M-system cameras earlier than, the brand new M11 felt acquainted however extra comfy.

“Regarding colour, I believe all Leica cameras give an excellent RAW picture colour, which is sweet to work with within the colour correction course of,” Washington says. “I all the time edit my pictures, so I don’t have any desire as to what colour I get in a RAW file. It’s sufficient for me that the whole lot is balanced — then the subsequent step of creativity begins in Lightroom or C1.”

For different photographers prepared to be taught extra in regards to the energy of colour, Washington’s elementary recommendation is to not be afraid to experiment and do it freely, with out the constraints of what could also be thought of “proper”.

Using color in photography Using color in photography Using color in photography Using color in photography

“Every part new is born solely when somebody decides to strive one thing out of the bizarre,” Washington advises. “The identical factor works with gentle and colour. It’s good to grasp the essential rules of working with gentle and a few fundamental schemes for normal understanding, however then it’s a must to you should definitely set your self new and attention-grabbing duties and attempt to remedy them out of the field. That is the way in which to growth and attention-grabbing pictures.”

Extra of Washington’s work may be discovered on her web site and Instagram.

Picture credit: Photographs by Polina Washington.

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