I have recently taken a Ridley Scott approach to a street photography and have revisited a project that I did roughly 18 months ago, shooting new content and re-editing existing images, with the biggest change being my decision to convert the images from B&W to colour. When I originally shot the Shadow Lines project I very much visualised it as B&W images, but I have shot exclusively in colour since then, including images that would very much fit into the Shadow Lines project, so decided to give them the colour treatment.
Before I go any further, I should probably talk a little bit about the original idea and why I originally shot it in B&W. Like many street photographers, the interplay between light and shadow interests me visually, with shafts of light cutting through dark shadows making for really dramatic images. As I shot the images over a period of time I found that what I really wanted was subjects bathed in light but framed in black shadows, which adds drama and a little abstraction to the images. I also felt that people momentarily passing through a bubble of light also reflects how people go through periods of darkness/light throughout the courses of their lives, whether that is mental or emotional etc. As these ideas coalesced into a project it was, at the time, obvious to me that B&W was the best medium to present in and colour wasn't really a consideration. At the time I think shooting in B&W lent a certain film-noir quality to them, which complimented the style and theme, but I have now done a complete u-turn and feel that the images are much stronger in colour. So why the sudden change?
Well I have recently been reviewing images shot over the last few years, partly out of curiosity and partly because I was looking at images that I wanted to enter into the London Photo Festival, which I will talk about in a separate post. I started looking at the Shadow Lines project and felt that something was missing from the images.
I started off by creating a virtual copy of the first image (below) and converted it to colour. The themes still held true, but colour really brought the scene to life for me. I then looked at the crop, and found that changing it gave more depth and scope to the image. I have now begun the process of reviewing the whole project, converting to colour and reviewing the crops etc and am excited by the results.
Have you ever returned to an image/photography project months or even years later and no longer felt the connection to the work, and what did you do? Did you, like myself and Sir Ridley, with his many cuts of Blade Runner, review and re-edit, or do you think that once you have moved on from a project, it is best to leave the work as it is and invest the time and effort exploring new ideas and challenges?
Anyway, I will add the entire Shadow Lines project directors cut to my website in the coming weeks, but for now here are some examples of images that were part of the original project along side its colour counterpart.