Greig Houghton Photography
Landscape, Street and Travel Photography


Irish Landscape and Travel Photography Blog

Two Wheels

Two two-wheeled vehicles and two concepts. The first photo is about colour. Jay Maisel, one of the great masters of photography, discusses colour in his book 'Light, Gesture & Color'. For Jay Maisel, it is only when colours interact and relate to each other that the magic happens.   Colour changes as it interacts with other colours, changes in size and depending on the light falling on it. As Jay puts it "one colour alone means nothing". His key concept is that "colour" is quite different to "colours".  Where an image of full of many colours, the colours "compete with each rather than interacting with each other" resulting in "colours".  Conversely, for Jay, working with limited colours allows them to interact as the result is "colour".


The second photo of the bicycle is also about colour, but is not the central theme of the photo.  The colours play second fiddle to the geometry and symmetry of the photo.  The colour green is the predominant colour but is balance by the muted creams, greys and the slight blue reflection in the windows.  The colours are largely balanced so the greens do not dominate the photo.  Instead, the geometry is the main theme with the balance of vertical and horizontal lines, patterns and most importantly the symmetry.

Photography is art of the exclusion. The painter chooses what to include in his painting where the photographer excludes the distracting elements from the frame through composition and focal length.  What we decide to leave out the frame is just as important as what we include.  For the motorcycle, it was important to exclude any other colour or element, particularly for the background where I wanted a clean unbroken yellow canvas for the red bike.  For the bicycle photo, it was important to exclude any object which would break up the symmetry of the photo.