The composition, creation of our world, and evolution of our being have dealt with colors. From the old ages to modern, with open eyes, from day’s start to it’s end, working, and finally closing eyes, comforting, we are bound to the aroma of colors. Our lives have been so deeply infused with and subjected to their presence, that imagination is paralyzed without them, words lose meaning and pictures appear impossible.
The world has been disintegrated into two pragmatic approaches, colored and black&white. Although nothing around us that exists can be bracketed to such circles of entailment, we in our own language, have devised these approaches to define the world, and lure in the system “SYMBOLISM”. Since, nothing has remained untouched and even if it is not a part of our evergreen set of known colors, we have managed to drive our brains to find the essential combinations, shades and methods to identify, and further synthesize these unknown colors and brand them names to ascertain their existence and addition to our “evergreen” set. As I go back in time (yes, time traveling), I find how we began interpreting their being, proclaiming their usage as symbols. For instance, black symbolizing darkness and submission, white symbolizing peace and purity. Further, we conferred, black as evil and white as good or prosperous. Such an assertion is predominantly based on the contrasting effect that the two colors present to the viewer, how black like a hole swallows every color on earth vanishing its existence, and on similar level, white brightens and further adds to the visual appeal of any color on earth, it even stays same for the evil black, symbolizing the good that does not blemish evil, instead presents it with a chance same as all other existent.
I am still in those old times. You do remember, I time traveled, right?
I am in a boat, in waters, viewing this incredible “Old North Wharf” located on Nantucket Harbor. I see the beautiful houses, capped with reddish-brown, blue roofs, distinct windows, lightened white walls with light shades of brown, very light, standing tall on this seemingly translucent spread of water. The overall outlook of the place this day is vibrant, I am caught up in the moment, looking. The blue skies, smaller clustered white clouds are still, as I await the dusk that shall part me from the glory that the place bestows. Without wasting any time, I take my camera and capture the moment, hoping to secure my vision, the beauty forever but now as I see the picture, it appears bleak, its black&white with shades of gray all over the place. It is the same place but it is not, not to me, the house looks old, looks like history, that does not help me to relive it and so I blame the technology of those days. It’s not that I don’t like black&white, it does add distinction to the image, but it’s not what I was hoping to remember, it’s not the art I am interested in, it is indeed the place itself, just the way it is, just the way I wanted it to be, I would have preferred a colored outlook.
Well then, it’s good that I have this modern camera that can take colored pictures, I did tell you I am time traveling. I took the picture again, this time it is vibrant with all I saw and as I see it, I am mesmerized and compelled to visit the place again.
A distinction I realize resides in the colored and black&white approaches, each has it’s place but latter has become a niche of some, while the former is primitive to many. I told you, I am not against black&white but urge to fill life with colors does not let me absent it’s astounding presence, to draw nature as it is supposed to be, as it is supposed to be remembered. The black&white portraits, movie shots often describe the historic times, further the pictures often have an unhappy vibe about them, somehow when we are in this generation of technological advancement where restrictions have been crossed, to provide photographers, cameramen with tools to contemplate real life, is an initiative which human society itself adopted and began uploading their pieces and instances of life to sites like Flickr, however some still practice the art of black&white expressing their views, for they tend to relate to them better.
Coveted corners of color psychology,
traveling along the perceptual stimulus,
I recognize, I understand
their appeal, charm, what they claim,
how black, powerful, dark and submissive,
how white, clean, vulnerable and pure,
how these two, unparalleled, join forces
to comply with saturation,
representing all, in black&white.
But are they absent or neglected?
dimensions I fail to attend,
why sunset, red eclipsing blue skies,
why trees, green and prosperous,
why her blue eyes, possessing depth,
have been shaded in gray.
I would have preferred, elements coupled,
reflecting delights, anguish, in subtext
of world as we know it.
One place that has remained untouched by colored associations, is the Newspaper. The ink of black on white sheets is dominant in many papers, but the reason to such a stand is quite clear. This has nothing to do with the technology, at-least not after 1990, nor does it concern itself with art, the only reason is cost. The mechanism to infuse colored photographs implies greater costs, which is neither favorable nor beneficial to the customer and the newspaper itself. However, the possibility of coloring the newspaper, with colored photographs picking up, has led to changes and their being has gained unprecedented success, which brings us to newspapers on special occasions, weekly supplements and latest, hot, trendy, colorful magazines, be it political, sports, technological, featuring lively pictures that gain attention.
But it remains a commercial landscape, they are bound to comply to the ideas of profit and minimization of expenses. But, when we are concerned, the amateur photographers, we see how quickly the transition has surfaced. Black&white is bygone for the common people, they have adopted to the totality of colored proportions, an era of black&white infused with all possible colors we can comprehend.
If you talk to me about my choices of colors, you might see a lot of yellow, red, and blue, with black&white. I have always applauded black&white for the contrast, for the clarity they depict, you cannot misunderstand or lose any corner, but when they are further imbued with many others, it becomes magical but for me to like, it has to be decent, it has to be clean, it has to be white. If you have noticed, white goes with anything, but something appeals more. So, you pick up that something and turn it into ‘your thing’. It very much defines you, even though we don’t recognize, even though sometimes our choices are restrained by available choices, but still what we have, is the best possible thing we have liked, we have kept, given our urge to experiment with colors. As for me, I seriously am a child, and may be you are too. I am certain, even though I have passed teen years, I still possess those childish attributes, which I don’t’ want to let go. May be I am crazy for not growing up, or may be not believing that I am, but the innocence, smartness, carefree nature of a child are highly attractive and joyous to my soul. But don’t get confused that I will be kidding,I won’t be taking blues or cartoons, it’s an appreciable tool to lighten the mood, to say “Hey, if you are serious then I am too, I shall always be active (quite a satire, something I wish to accomplish), evergreen, never misunderstand a child for maturity”.
P.S…. Don’t misunderstand that Black&White photography, is just black and white, they use highly complicated techniques, softwares, color filters to add drama to their black&white imagery, to adjust the gray-scale distribution to add or subtract contrast. It is indeed an art, depicting world, but we have colors for it, I am gonna stick to them for a change.