Unusually for me, I shot very little monochrome on my last trip to Tokyo. Almost none at all, in fact. I suspect it was partially due to equipment choice – the Hasselblad’s digital back really excels at reproducing accurate color – that made me want to explore the use of color even more. Either that, or it was the subtle subconscious influence that Saul Leiter’s work has been having on me. His color was not at all accurate, but rather both pleasing and very evocative of an emotion or era; maybe because of the tonal shift, maybe because of the conscious choice of palette.
Whatever the case though, it got me thinking about the use of color for the sake of color alone – in the same vein that I’ve been exploring abstraction and form in my still life work, I sought to bring this to a more fluid environment. I would describe this set as being transitionary: on one hand, there will be images with a familiar structure to them; on the other hand, there’s also a lot more motion and abstraction to the images than you might normally be used to seeing from me. Trying to combine the elements of motion and structure are tricky, and there are times when I know I instinctively slipped back into my ‘normal’ habits. However, motion can of course be implied even if there is no motion blur in an image – impossible poses, wind, etc. are all fair game.
Ultimately, it’s the start of yet another exploration and evolution in style; it’s too early to tell if there are any commercial applications (most clients want everything pixel-perfect, hyperrealistic and tack sharp) but perhaps there is some potential for the corporate documentary work I’m increasingly doing more of; especially in situations where clients don’t want to single out individuals (or pay for model rights). Enjoy the images; some of you may recognize a few from the How To See Ep.2 Tokyo and Street Photography videos. MT
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