Every Frame’s a Painting

A Workshop on Understanding Colour and Emotion in Photography

– Arka Prabha Das (Batch 2019-20)

It was an interesting Friday morning when Mohan sir introduced us to the two visiting faculty members from Stella Maris, Dr. Margret Thomas and Dr. Swapna Satish from whom we’d learn about color. As a photographic student and a painter, colors have always fascinated me. It is a striking observation that a change in color could drastically change the mood of a certain composition. And to create art that could resonate with a larger audience, understanding the impact of color is a necessity.

Here’s a Video of the workshop by Arka with Music by Ankit Ray, students from the current Batch 19-20

Margaret ma’am introduced us to the earliest form of human expressions and how it evolved with time. Colors have an enormous impact in different culture and religion in portrayal of historical figures. The dominance or submission of characters, the mood of certain situations, the idea of something sinister or something heavenly could be studied through the use of color in the earlier paintings of human civilization. When photography itself came in the picture, the idea of imitating true Colors in paintings evolved into expressing mood and emotional states. With the analysis of the works by the modern masters, Margaret ma’am visually explained the impact of color while, as artists, we are trying to reach an audience.

Prior to the workshop, we were given works of Gaugin and Czanne and we were told to imitate the lighting and Colors of those paintings into photographs. We were intrigued by the assignment because of its unusually interesting nature. The engagement for the assignment was refreshing. On Friday, during the workshop, Swapna ma’am explained the next step, which was to recreate the assigned painting with magazine paper cuttings with specific color palettes to express a specific mood. We played with Colors and block by block we constructed different moods. And at the end of the day we had 54 unique artworks. It helped us to achieve a new perspective of analyzing colors and the impact of it at every single inch of the frame.

Let it be a photograph or a video, every frame is a painting. And to make your work reach a greater audience, understanding the color composition is one major key.