Pantone recently announced Classic Blue (19-4052) as the 2020 Color of the Year and it just happens to be one of my favorite colors to photograph. Really!
Here’s what Pantone said: “A timeless and enduring blue hue, PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue is elegant in its simplicity. Suggestive of the sky at dusk, the reassuring qualities of the thought-provoking PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue highlight our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era. Imprinted in our psyches as a restful color, PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue brings a sense of peace and tranquility to the human spirit, offering refuge. Aiding concentration and bringing laser like clarity, PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue re-centers our thoughts. A reflective blue tone, Classic Blue fosters resilience.”
I frequently photograph this color during the “Blue Hour” which occurs twice a day after sunset or before sunrise. No matter the weather, the sky turns this lovely shade of blue which registers on cameras but we don’t see it with our eyes unless we are thinking about it. Our eyes adjust to the blue to make everything look normal. Think about when you might be driving around in a car about 20 minutes after sunset and all the lights in houses look deep yellow. Your eyes have adjusted for the blue hour and make the slight yellow of interior lights look much deeper. The camera doesn’t make that adjustment and we get these beautiful blue skies but it doesn’t change the color of our subjects.
It is a great time of day to shoot night photos. I especially like to photograph cityscapes during the blue hour to capture a bit of color in the sky before it goes completely black.
Thanks Pantone for making one of my favorite colors the color of the year.
I just completed a new installation of four photos at The Woodstock Inn in Woodstock, VT. I worked with Cheryl Griggs, who is the head interior designer at Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. Cheryl had a very specific color scheme she was working with, looking for images to go with the blue/gray colors of the furnishings she had selected. She sent me color swatches to help me understand what she was needing. Cheryl wanted Vermont scenes but didn’t want fall foliage or bright red barns since those colors wouldn’t work with the rest of the room. She went through my website and I loaded more photos onto a special page for her. She was interested in several photos and a couple that didn’t quite have the right colors. I went back into those photos and made the colors more of what she was looking for. The Overlook had more orange in the sky, which I took out and made the blue hues match her colors. I toned down some of the brighter colors in Morning Fog and brought out some other tones to make the photo work well with the decor. And I drastically changed the color of Looking Up by color matching the blue and then pulled another shot from that shoot to give Cheryl the related photos she wanted to work with a large mirror.
The three photos grouped together have a traditional black floater frame while the Morning Fog has a lovely walnut frame. All photos are printed on canvas to give them a painterly look.
The photos are now hanging in the newly redesigned Conservatory, a great space where people can sit and relax. In the evening they offer wait staff for drinks and snacks. It is a beautiful space that was expertly created by Cheryl.
I’ve come to realize that many people don’t properly hang their photos. It becomes especially apparent when I deliver and install a big print. When I look around houses I see that art on the wall is usually hanging too high. The standard height for museums is to have the center of the art 57 inches off the floor. If you closely look at galleries you’ll see they don’t think about getting the top or the bottom of art on the same line, they are concerned with the center. Now hanging in a home or office is a bit different, you don’t want to hang your photo so low it is partially hidden by a couch. But you want to keep that art behind the couch as low as possible, don’t have it a foot about the furniture.