Over the Top Colors

On Saturday, I spent some time photographing in the Eastown neighborhood in Grand Rapids. It’s got small shops, restaurants, small apartment buildings, and people like me wandering around. The weather was gray, clouded, with sun rarely breaking through. That meant rich, rather than washed out, colors. So I decided to double down.

I turned a monochrome “Brownie” preset that I often use into a color one. It’s years old, from the streetshooter.net website, I think, and modeled on an old Kodak film intended its “Brownie” cameras. The preset is contrasty, grainy, and has a brownish tinge to it. I like the feel of it, though I usually reduce the contrast and graininess a bit. Yesterday, I did that and then switched the Adobe monochrome to vivid color. I like the look for what I was doing yesterday. Heavy shadows, bright areas, deep color. And that brownish tinge.

There were few people walking when I saw a window with a Gay Pride flag in it. I thought that the colors and reflections might have an interesting effect. But the reflected scene was not by itself very interesting. And I had to wait a bit for someone to walk through the scene that I’d framed up. But the image worked pretty well.

With the new CDC recommendation about vaccinated people not needing to wear masks, and the state of Michigan following suit, there did seem to be more people outside and indoors without masks. But a lot of people also clearly remain nervous about going without a mask, probably presume that many non-vaccinated people will stop wearing masks too.

I took this picture because of the chaos of details from in the restaurant and reflected from outside. Just as I clicked the shutter button, a guy with a spikey red mohawk hairdo stepped into the frame. You can barely see guy with the mohawk, but he’s there (lower left).

This is one of my favorites from the day. The two people have their phones out, but they were actually talking, not just walking beside each other. And the reflections in the restaurant window work well. Is the “Fragrance Bar” in the restaurant or across the street?

Spring is here. The optimists tell us that the COVID19 tide in the US is turning. I’m skeptical, as optimism can lead to foolish behavior by risk takers. But I’m trying to be hopeful. So, be smart, be safe, and have fun out there.

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