The Nature Of Color

Color is everywhere, from the moment our eyes open in the morning our mind is filled with the color that our eyes see. This gallery consists of black and white photos all dating pre 1940. At the time these photos were taken, the photographer saw something so magnificent in color that he or she felt the need to capture it. Years later we find ourselves recreating in our own minds the vibrant colors that the photographer saw. Join me on a journey to perceive the depth and color that these images have in our own interpretation and imagination. 

The year this photo was taken alone adds validity to its already powerful imagery. With World War II looming and the recovery of the Great Depression underway, these three individuals are hard at work during the harvest. This wheat field properly entitled Our Daily Bread, is turned into a battlefield for survival. There are several elements in which strengthen this image. There is obvious movement present was the field is being worked but there is also a balance between the sky and the wheat. Judging by the wispy clouds and the leaning of the crop it is fair to assume it was a windy day in the fields.
The landscape is vast and colorless, leaving a sense of false depth in this photo taken in 1865-1866. There is very little negative space in this piece as even the horizon is filled with dissolving mountain ranges in the distance. Although at first glance this photo seems rather flat due to the tree and the rolling cliff face it the foreground, it becomes very deep in the distant foggy mountain side.
Hunting for sport and trophy was a common past time for the wealthy in the late 1800's and early 1900's before wildlife conservation efforts began. This photo is filled with trophies taken in India in the 1860's. This photo does a magnificent job of providing an accurate scale to the objects within. All the men in the picture are relatively the same stature, and they are all posed in front of a large building allowing us to fairly judge the size of the harvested animals shown.
The photographer in 1911 whom took the picture of the 'Tera Nova' showed not only interest in the anchored vessel but more importantly the emphasis on the ice itself. This massive formation of ice is in it's natural state in this colorless photo. With its presence in the foreground and the ship in the back ground, one can consider if the emphasis isn't a display on the power and danger of the ice to the ship and its journey.
Where blue skies meet white sand you are bound to find someone tan. This imagine taken in 1937 depicts a man soaking some sun rays on what appears to be a beach of some sort. There is no defining conclusion as to if this is a beach and if so is it a lake or ocean shoreline? Although its safe to assume this is a oceanic beach, the space is mostly filled with the dark complexion of the sun bather surrounded by an almost white washed landscape. This is a strong contrast causing the viewer to strongly focus on the man and not his surroundings.
This picture of a modest mid 1800's home next to a pond is full of life. There is a unity between the still pond and its real life reflection. Although there are no vibrant colors to catch the eye, there is a sharpness within the pond which are uniformed to the lines outside of the water. There is an absolute sense of a blue bird day which can't be denied.
There is a pattern of colors hidden within this landscape picture taken in 1930. There are lines of mysterious colors in this picture of wonderful formations. unknown to the viewer is if the clouds were casting shadows, the formations soil and rock colors vary that drastically or if the sun is setting.The imagination is left to ponder the colors in with the sharp shapes and vertical lines appear to be.
Yellowstone holds a few less mature animals after these elk hunters took their harvest in 1880. These men are seen in the tree line skinning their kills. This picture leaves very little space unfilled. The men and the elk fill the foreground while the trees and mountains take their place in the background. The natural lines intersect from the vertical trees to the horizontal lines of the adjacent mountain ranges and the ridge on which the hunters are sitting. These lines give the photo depth by being able to show distance between the lines.
This playful park bench picture is full of movement. Through the colorless image you can almost hear the sound of this mans leather soled shoes running, becoming silent as he soars over the bench and then meeting the ground with a loud slap. Its difficult to see exactly wheres the mans position to the bench is due to the implied illusion, that is until you see his shadow directly over the benches shadow.
The photographer was able to capture the beautiful repetition and pattern between the sky, mountains and water in this 1880's photo. A man, a boat and his dog are the only elements in this photo which challenge the near perfect sequence of the landscape and its reflection. These lights, darks and grey's capture what appears to be natures heart beat.
Credits: All media
This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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