Training to See Hues

 

I have always shot black and white film. Now I have a digital camera and wish to explore colour. Technicalities aside, how do I learn to see in colour?
Simran Singh, New Delhi, via email

Always try and isolate one or, at maximum, two colours in the frame. Simplicity always works. Photograph/Dora Pete

Always try and isolate one or, at maximum, two colours in the frame. Simplicity always works. Photograph/Dora Pete

The first and most obvious thing to do would be to look up some of the legends of colour photography. Raghubir Singh, William Eggleston, Joel Meyerowitz, Alex Webb, David Alan Harvey are just some of the names we would recommend, to get you started.

Start giving yourself assignments. For instance, shoot only red subjects for one week and let the next week be a yellow one. You will surprise yourself with how much you start noticing when you constrain your vision in one direction. You may fall in love with colour, or simply return to B&W, but either way, there will be a lot of learning.

Tags: 2014, Alex Webb, ask the expert, assignment, colour, Colour Photography, David Alan Harvey, Joel Meyerowitz, Question of the Day, Raghubir Singh, September, William Eggleston