Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Dearth Of Great Colour?

My next book is going to be "Why Photographs Work". It will consist of some 30 - 40 images along with a 3 page essay on why the images work - at least that's the theory - it isn't written yet.

In considering photographers and images to put in the book, I had no difficulty coming up with a goodly list of black and white photographers and colour landscape photographers - but when it comes to non landscape colour - boy it's not easy.

I get announcements from a few galleries and that hasn't given me much help. I get the book announcements from photo-eye but can't say anything they have sent me recently got me excited (about colour non-landscape).

So this begs the question - is there really a dearth of good colour work on subjects other than landscape? Does it mean that street photography and still lifes and portraits are more artistic when in black and white? Is someone automatically handicapped when doing this kind of work in colour?

The more immediate issue for me is I need suggestions. The editors of photo-net used to recommend photographers but now they just have their themes and the images aren't as original - and they too mostly chose black and white before and colour now - interesting.

If you have either a favourite photographer or image in colour and it isn't a landscape, please point me in the right direction.

I'm happy to receive one of your own images that you think qualifies as "wonderful" but I won't be able to give any feedback other than if I'm interested in the image I will contact you about permissions.


Victor Bloomfield said...

Jay Maisel is the obvious color urban photographer. Whether his permission fees are affordable is another question. Also, National Geographic.

Stachu said...

In some photographs color is the main subject (or part of it). For example:
They are not so good, but I know that color is important here. Maybe this way?

Alexandre Buisse said...

I suggest that you take a look at and browse a bit, there's a lot of good stuff in there.

Some people there that work in colour and do things other than landscape include Dave Nitsche (, Ursula I Abresch (, Carola Lundmark (, Prateek Dubay (, Thomas Holtkoetter (, and many, many others.

Alexandre Buisse said...

Oh, and I missed the bit where you allow to propose one's own photography, so maybe this or that would be of interest.

Anonymous said...


Check out some of David duChemin's work in Tunisia (first few images), and Travel. duChemin Portfolio. He's based in Vancouver.
Gavin Gough has some images for colour Gavin's portfolio.
Matt Brandon also has some images that might work Matt's portfolio.

Sandy Wilson said...

George for inspirational colour images non landscape, look no further than Keld Helmer Petersen. Paticularly some of his Danish Beauty series.

John said...

Hi addition to recently reading your books, I was introduced to some by Harold Davis.

His site, might be a place to look:


Anonymous said...

Pete Turner, of course. Lots of really striking images where color is the real subject. My favorite is the very blue image of a snow-covered street in NY city with traffic lights reflected in a wet manhole cover; but "Push", a neon colored image of a red & yellow trash can against a blue sky, is his best known.

Geoff Wittig