community post: the lure of color

In Community, Inspiration
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There are so many ways that photographers are inspired to capture an image. We’re inspired by glorious light, by darkness, by shape and texture, by juxtapostion, by angles, by metaphor. We point our cameras at compelling landscapes, nature, street scenes, faces. Black and white photography tells one story, and then there’s a whole world filled with color.

Color can be subtle or bold, monochromatic or dazzling, soothing or jarring. In this post the ViewFinders are sharing their take on color in all its glory.

Colors Passing Through Us
by Marge Piercy

Purple as tulips in May, mauve
into lush velvet, purple
as the stain blackberries leave
on the lips, on the hands,
the purple of ripe grapes
sunlit and warm as flesh.

Every day I will give you a color,
like a new flower in a bud vase
on your desk. Every day
I will paint you, as women
color each other with henna
on hands and on feet.

Red as henna, as cinnamon,
as coals after the fire is banked,
the cardinal in the feeder,
the roses tumbling on the arbor
their weight bending the wood
the red of the syrup I make from petals.

Orange as the perfumed fruit
hanging their globes on the glossy tree,
orange as pumpkins in the field,
orange as butterflyweed and the monarchs
who come to eat it, orange as my
cat running lithe through the high grass.

Yellow as a goat’s wise and wicked eyes,
yellow as a hill of daffodils,
yellow as dandelions by the highway,
yellow as butter and egg yolks,
yellow as a school bus stopping you,
yellow as a slicker in a downpour.

Here is my bouquet, here is a sing
song of all the things you make
me think of, here is oblique
praise for the height and depth
of you and the width too.
Here is my box of new crayons at your feet.

Green as mint jelly, green
as a frog on a lily pad twanging,
the green of cos lettuce upright
about to bolt into opulent towers,
green as Grand Chartreuse in a clear
glass, green as wine bottles.

Blue as cornflowers, delphiniums,
bachelors’ buttons. Blue as Roquefort,
blue as Saga. Blue as still water.
Blue as the eyes of a Siamese cat.
Blue as shadows on new snow, as a spring
azure sipping from a puddle on the blacktop.

Cobalt as the midnight sky
when day has gone without a trace
and we lie in each other’s arms
eyes shut and fingers open
and all the colors of the world
pass through our bodies like strings of fire.

What is more enticing than a farmer’s market filled with colorful produce? As the saying goes, “we eat first with our eyes,” and these beauties were just begging to be transformed into a wonderful meal. But first they needed to have their picture taken. —Lucy

One thing these last few years have taught me is what a gift a new day is. Just before the sun brings her warmth and light, I find solace and hope in the blue dawn.
~Staci Lee

As our winter recedes, I’m longing for the gorgeous pops of color in our perennial garden. Bright yellow and orange along with lush green fill my heart with joy. Double exposures with my Diana F+ and a prism make for a lovely afternoon. ~ Laura

There’s something about yellow that just seems to call to my camera. My students have been studying color theory recently and we discussed how colors can be associated with feelings. Yellow is one of those colors that can mean a variety of different things, but in my case, I’m choosing to see it as optimism, energy and joy. I guess that’s why I seem to find yellow in my compositions so frequently- I must be unconsciously looking for those positive vibes to brighten up my images. ~Angie

I looked up and there it was – an immense, beautiful, snowy mass, sandwiched between the deep blue of the sky and the hard lines of the city. ~ Chinwe

I was lucky to spend a few days in Rome this past weekend. The weather was warmer than in England and we were blessed with sunshine and blossoms amongst the Roman ruins. We visited one last museum before heading to the airport; the Etruscan museum which is filled with grave goods, beautifully painted bowls and reliefs from tombs. When we were all done we sat under a glorious purple wisteria which extended along a wall in the gardens. While reading DH Lawrence’s Sketches of Etruscan Places, I looked up at the lilac flowers, the scent dripping down and around and promised myself that it would not be so long before our next trip to Rome.


Easter. Yellow daffodils on our table, yellow chickens in an airplane on the candy-filled egg the boy got from his grandparents. A promise of summer while the world outside remains in the greys and browns of early spring. ~Jenny Graver.

The weather outside is grey and drizzly, which as it often does, suits my mood. It’s cozy inside, the dog is snoring beside me, big changes in family life approach as my daughter makes college decisions for this fall. As I scrolled through my photo libraries, this cheery and bright image from a friend’s kitchen leapt out at me. Colour can instantly create a mood all on its own – subtle blues and grey can calm, and bright colours can instantly lift one’s spirits. – kim

Angie wrote recently about the brown season in her home of Colorado. We definitely have that here in Minnesota too – and it’s usually preceded by the white-and-brown season. What I love about it, though, is that the pops of color really do that – pop right out. The twice-daily yellows of the school bus, paired with my kiddo’s hat – the perfect thing to brighten up the white/brown doldrums of winter.


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