I took this photo in Vietnam – one of those places in the world that explode in color – color so bright and vivid and saturated, that it doesn’t seem real. I have all these theories about color and its relation to different cultures. I believe that there are unwritten cultural rules regarding the uses of color and that the way we use color tells us a bit about ourselves. For example, in east and south Asia any bright color is a good color, and if it doesn’t slap you in the face and assault your visual sense (bang!), it’s wasted color. If food is devoid of bright colors, it’s inedible – color’s a sign of freshness and flavor. And bright colors should be used to cover, not a single wall, but an entire building and all surrounding buildings if possible, inside and out.
On the other hand, I have this theory that aside from matching our active-wear with our tennis shoes and our accessories and coloring our food with Red Dye #5, we Americans think color should be used sparingly. The exception, of course, is high school proms, weddings, and university/pro sporting events, where the only rule regarding color is “pile it on head to toe, baby (bang!), and make it match!” I also have this theory that if I explain enough of my useless theories to the person sitting next to me on a bus, I will eventually end up with two seats to myself.
For the photo dorks, here’s another theory regarding shooting photos in color or black & white: When color makes the photo, leave it in; when it does nothing to enhance a pic, go with black & white. This photo’s blowin’ up with color (bang!). In fact, I’d argue that without color, this photo loses its visual punch. The things you seem to achieve with black & white – mood, contrast of shapes and forms – are absent without the color.
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In my last post, I made a comment about conforming to the standards of others and appearance often being more important than substance. After receiving a number of messages and emails, I have a theory that this is something that strikes a chord with people. Well, this week, in a post on the aptly titled blog, The Art of Non-Conformity, the author takes the idea a bit further, asking the age old question, “If everybody else jumped off a bridge, would you?” and depending on how you make choices in life, you just might find that (bang!) you would.