Seeing in Color

Some like it warm

But maybe you're too cool...

Here's a great (unintentional) example of how color, or more particularly, the color of the light can impact the mood of an image. I went to the Venice Beach Pier the other day to do some scouting for a photowalk I'm leading this weekend. I wanted to catch the last rays before sunset but I got there a little later than planned and the sun was disappearing below the horizon by the time I reached the base of the pier. Looking northwest 'up' the shoreline, the light reflecting off the wet sand caught my eye. I raised my camera, composed and made a few exposures. Pretty standard stuff...but still pretty. Then I turned around and saw that the view 'down' the shore also looked interesting. I especially liked the lines of foam some of the waves made as they rolled onto the beach. I shot a few more frames and moved on. Later, as I was reviewing my haul on the computer, the thing that jumped out at me was the difference in the colors of the two groups of images. The upshore shots which included the sunset sky and its warm light reflecting off the water look completely different than the downshore shots which are dominated by deep blue tones from the twilight sky. The thing is, I made all of these images from basically the same spot just facing different directions, and when I check the time stamps, there's only a 5 minute difference from the first to the the last frame. I won't try to describe the mood of either set of shots or even offer an opinion about which one is 'better'. These are things that are different for each viewer. But it's hard to deny that the two feel dramatically different...and it all comes down to the color of  light. 

By the way, if you are in the LA area this weekend and want something fun to do, join us for our Venice Beach Photowalk. It's part of Worldwide Photowalk Day. The walk happens on Saturday, Oct 1 and we will start at the base of the Venice Pier at 5pm. Hope to see you there!