A Color Moment

March 07, 2019 to April 06, 2019
A Color Moment
3 Park Street
Middlebury - 05753 VT
Like my approach to photography, I had no preconceptions when judging A Color Moment. It was all about the surprise I encountered from one photograph to the next. What I hope resulted is a group of images that illustrate A Color Moment on many levels and genres.

What is a color moment? This is a question I have been asked often in interviews and by workshop participants. For me it begins with the basic difference between color and black and white. Black and white is subtraction or abstraction where as color is addition. And when you add something to a photograph it doesn't always work. This is the challenge for the color photographer. First, one should have an appreciation for color... all kinds of color palettes... bold, vibrant as well as pastel or monochromatic. All of them have their place in the color photographer's visual tool kit. The true test for me as to whether the color works in a photograph is if the color were removed, would the photo still hold up or would it lose a key element? Of course I was also looking for well-crafted images as well as those with an interesting point of view. Pictures that not only gave answers but also provoke questions. Pictures that make me stop and look. Those that I kept coming back to because they stayed with me. Each time I reviewed the work, I tried to keep this criteria in mind while making my choices for this show.

The image selected for the Juror's Award contained all of these elements and many more. The photograph is complex, multi-layered and multi-framed. Color in this photograph serves not only as a descriptor but also reveals a sense of place. It's a picture that kept me coming back for more and seeing new things each time: the foreground of the man in the back of the vehicle reading his newspaper to the middle ground of the lady with the blue umbrella (and her mirrored shadow) to the background of framed bus riders. All three layers connecting via the use of color and strong composition.

For the image that received the Director's Award, the red, white and blue bags and flags create a "color rhyme" within the photograph that connect to each other as well as the other color rhyme of the yellow sign and yellow truck. The gentleman with bags in both hands and the determined, straightforward expression walking out of the frame begs the questions, "where is he going?" "What's in those bags?" For me, these components along with the overall composition come together in a well-captured color moment.

Having had the opportunity, honor and responsibility of judging many photography exhibitions, I can honestly say that A Color Moment may very well be the most difficult, in that there were so many worthy images to select from. To all the participants—my thanks for allowing me the opportunity to review your work. For now, enjoy the moment and go out and make new work!

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