Its so easy being Green
During a big clean up, following a recent flood at my place, I discovered some old photos I’d made during the first few months of 1986. It was my first year of formal photography study and I was staying with my oldest sister, Maree, and her family in the Melbourne suburb of Box Hill South. I’d been given an assignment, to produce 3 photographs that explored the color Green.
It seemed like a dumb idea at the time and it wasn’t until the night before it was due that, with the help of my brother in law, Steve, I got it together. I made a pic of a watermelon with a face cut into it. The pinkish red of the fruit’s flesh made a strong color contrast with the green on the outside of the fruit.
The above image, the second in the series, featured Maree’s 2 oldest kids: Rachel and Richard Gray. (Her youngest child, Patrick, was a chubby bubby at the time). The image was made in a few short minutes under the shade of a beautiful maple tree in the family’s front yard. The green, leafy yard provided the perfect background. The kid’s green school uniforms were an added bonus. It was then simply a matter of adding some extra props (green cordial, cups, serviettes and fruit) to complete the scene.
The final image features Rachel, dressed in emerald green and adorned with green nail polish, posing in front of the bathroom mirror. Rachel was a great model, very patient and co-operative.
Both the kids were great fun to work with and I’m so glad I’ve re-discovered these old images. While they’re not portfolio standard they’re great keepsakes that allow us all to remember our time together. It may not be that much longer before both Rachel and Richard can share those memories with their own families.
Rachel is now an experienced and highly regarded secondary school teacher, while Richard is well and truly making his way as a director, writer and producer in the motion picture and television industries. But, back then, Richie was a typical 6-year-old boy: with a love for cartoons and a very competitive backyard cricket player. Rachel, who I guess was 8 years old at the time, was highly organized, very bright and a talented piano player. Richard was full of life and energy, a beautiful child who loved his mother very much. Rachel was a delightful girl. In fact she was perfect.
If you’re feeling like your own photography is a bit stale of late, perhaps it’s worth trying a Green, Red or Blue assignment for yourself. Of course you could take it further as color is also cultural. White is a metaphor that, depending on the country or culture in question, can suggest completely different things. When I re-visit familiar places I sometimes limit myself to a single focal length (e.g. 24mm wide-angle or 100mm Macro) to force myself to see the familiar anew. Whatever challenge you set yourself will help revive your enthusiasm and broaden your vision. Go on, feed your creativity.
Both images were made with Agfachrome ISO 100 transparency film on a 35mm Nikon FE camera. The original transparency was scanned prior to processing in Adobe Camera RAW and Adobe Photoshop CS4.
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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography