About 18 months ago I met a guy called Bob who was in the process of setting up a new business. He was extremely confident and entrepreneurial, despite having a learning difficulty.
I heard from him again this week, as he is revamping his website and wondered if I had any suitable images. No problem you might think I do after all have thousands to choose from on my hard drive. The trouble is that while I file them by date, and add keywords to the data on file to help me identify specific subjects I’ve never been in the habit of labelling the images by colour. My software allows me to do this, but it has never been part of my workflow to identify images that have a dominant colour and then tag them accordingly for future reference. Does it matter? I’d always assumed not, but Bob’s request was for images that have a strong element of red. His business is first aid related and so he has adopted the red and white that we associate with The Red Cross for his publicity materials.
Now apparently, as an Aries, I should be attracted to bright and vibrant reds, and certainly in the early part of last years portrait project red hair made regular appearances including my favourite portrait of Justine, but this wasn’t the vibrant crimson that Bob required.
And so it was that I carried out a quick scroll through all of those digital files (OK maybe not so quick) and found that I did have some shots that were dominated by the colour; roughly one in every 1000! Browns from rocks and sand, blue from sky and see, green fields and trees? Yes plenty of those. Red. Not so many. Sorry Bob.
I shot a few images whilst out on my bike of items that featured some red (or enough to make a Photoshop adjustment straightforward!) and that included some element of aid in their purpose; lifebelts, postboxes, lighthouses, cycling route posts, wind socks etc and then to give the red greater emphasis I processed the rest of the image as monotone. Spot colour, as this technique is called, always feels a bit gimmicky to me but I thought it might give the red and white more prominence, though once I’d processed them they did tend to remind me of an ad campaign run by ING a few years before they became part of the Barclays empire. Anyway, Bob didn’t like them as he felt them to be lonely and troubled. Well to be fair, the collecting box I’d photographed was a refurbished WWII mine!
He was slightly happier with the sample shot of a model in red against a white wall. I stress that this was just an image from my portfolio rather than a shot taken for Bob, shown to give him some idea of how the white wall could then be a space to add text. Bob though her angry. She probably was having to hold that pose!
I’ll probably not be getting that gig then, but even today whilst shopping I found myself spotting reds where I would normally have ignored them. Maybe a couple of these have more potential to be happy and confident for Bob. Certainly Charlie, who is today’s portrait fits the bill in that regard.
The quote that forms the title of today’s piece is from Month Python and the Holy Grail where the bridgekeeper’s victims must correctly answer his questions or be hurled into the abyss through some force of magic. The hapless Galahad succumbs as he responds thus… “Blue. No, yel…” As I parked in the yellow car park at Gateshead’s Metro Centre today, I spotted this. Do you fancy changing your logo Bob?