Digital Dave's Ruminations

This is the place...

...where Digital Dave occasionally shares his thoughts on China, Photography, and other various and random subject-matter.

My three most recent posts will always appear on this page (unless you've arrived here via a direct link to a specific article). Use the archive links on the right sidebar to access previous posts. Most images on this blog can be clicked-on to view them in a larger size.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Bright Primary Colorful China

One of the things that I particularly enjoy about photographing China is that it’s a far more colorful country than most people give it credit for.

I think that most people, if they have any sense of what China looks like at all, tend to imagine dull, washed-out reds, golds & greys and muted greens & browns. While not entirely inaccurate, modern China certainly has a far more expansive color gamut.

Classic Chinese Muted Tones

Viewers of my photos are often surprised at the abundance of saturated primary colors that are more remeniscent of Central America than of China. Bright, eye-popping color is especially evident in the interior, rural towns and cities of China, and is exemplified by the all-too-prevalent storefront signage and advertising that seems to line every city street, country road, and back alley. Even many rural villages now are now painted in predominantly bright primary colors.

Bright Primary Colors

I’ve even had people ask me if I intentionally increase color saturation during post-processing of my photos, but a close inspection of the images reveals that these intense reds, blues, yellows, and greens simply appear all-the-more saturated when juxtaposed against the often grey skies and polluted air in the Chinese interior.

Bright color v. poluted air.

From a photographic perspective, the often stark contrast between highly luminant and more subdued color in the same scene serve to underscore one of the overarching themes that I try to capture with my camera in China: the dichotomies and contradictions that seem to underly virtually every aspect of life in this country.

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