Blue, green, yellow, red and white…

Recently, Anu Shankar of A Wandering Mind tagged me in the Capture the Colour contest organised by TravelSupermarket.com. The contest brief is, well, quite brief and simple:

… to publish a blog post with a photo that captures the following 5 colours – Blue, Green, Yellow, White and Red.

Hmmm… till about 4 years back I didn’t even give colours a second thought or glance. I took it for granted as growing up in India, they were always around me. But a year’s stay in London showed me how much colours mattered to me, and changed my very perception and understanding of colours.

I arrived in London at the onset of winter and its (in)famous winter weather. But the grey and damp weather didn’t bother me; neither did the sunless days affect me. But a monochromatic London of black and grey coats, hats, scarves, gloves and boots drove me crazy. That’s when I started noticing colours in the world around me, rather than only on people. Colourful shop fronts, buildings, pub exteriors, cars, tube stations, a stained glass window … took on a whole new meaning. I learnt to look at, appreciate and enjoy colours in a very different way.

It had to convince myself to participate in the contest as I don’t really consider myself as a photographer. But the idea of digging into my digital photo library was tempting and I had a great time choosing 5 of them—one for each contest colour. So presenting my blue, green, yellow, red and white photographs as well as my take on each of them.

For me, Blue is a colour and a mood. That afternoon, when I alighted from the train at North Greenwich Tube Station in London, there was nobody on this platform, except for this woman and me. Though her blue jeans and red jacket mirrored the eye-catching colour scheme of the station, it was her slumped posture that caught my attention, and the fact that she never looked up from the floor. Her body language communicated introspection, and perhaps inner angst as well.

Feeling blue…

And at that moment, I understood what “feeling blue” was all about. Here was a classic example of not only the physical manifestation of the colour, but also a mood.

Where there is Green, there is a new beginning. To me, green not only symbolises a new beginning, it also denotes life. Nowhere is this more evident than in a church graveyard, where life thrives among the those laid to rest.

Life in the midst of the dead…

On a visit to Tintern Abbey, I was told about the ruins of the chapel of St.Mary-on-the Hill some distance away. A 15-minute walk up a steep path and I was there, all alone among the chapel ruins and the surrounding graveyard. Alone, but for the company of bird song and the buzz of insects and the calming and soothing greenery all around. I should have been spooked, but I came away feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

Yellow is my colour and I absolutely love it in all its forms. It’s a colour that always makes me warm and fuzzy and happy and alive. On a visit to the New Cathedral at Coventry, I saw the colour used in a very dramatic way.

When one enters the Cathedral, the eyes are drawn not to the altar in the front, but to the magnificent Baptistry Window to the right, which comprises 200 coloured glass panels. The designer of the window, John Piper, perceived his multi-coloured creation as “the light of truth breaking through darkness and confusion”.

The yellow light of truth shines through

As I stood in the dim and cool interiors of the Cathedral and saw the yellow light shining through, it looked like the sun that dispels darkness and brings forth the truth, and indeed life.

Red may be associated with danger, but for me it always means drama and spice. It is a colour with an attitude—a splash or a streak of red in a frame is enough to spice up a photograph. Take a look at the photograph below.

The spicy red train

I was walking along the Thames at Richmond near London idly clicking photographs of the passing barges and boats, when I heard a distant rumble. And in a matter of seconds this gorgeous red train went by over the bridge, brightening up the rather dull and rainy day, not to mention my photograph as well.

Maybe it is a hangover of a lifetime of white school uniforms, and of white salwars getting spoiled in the Mumbai monsoons… but I don’t really like White. Or I didn’t like it till I saw a dramatically different avatar of white and was forced to change my opinion.

It was a regular, rainy day in London in July 2009, and I was out on one of my long walks, thinking about my dissertation and worried that it was not falling into place. The rain, sun and clouds played musical chairs, but I was so preoccupied that I barely noticed my surroundings. Till I saw this row of houses which shook me out of my reverie.

Freshly laundered whites…

The sun had come out after a brief, but sharp downpour. The houses looked so dazzlingly brilliant that they appeared to have been freshly washed and laundered, making everything else fade in comparison—the green of the leaves, the pretty flowers, and the red of the chimneys. The contrasting dark grey clouds only enhanced the brilliance of the white.

These days, I still do not wear white, but am now seriously considering painting the walls of my house white. :-)

So, what do you think of my colour captures? Tell, tell…

♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦

Capture the Colour Contest

One of the rules for participating in this contest is to nominate 5 bloggers to participate in this contest.

This contest is open for all bloggers till August 29, 2012. So even if I have not nominated you, and you have something to say about the colours you have captured, you can participate. But do let me know so that I can come over and see your colour captures and comment on them.

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46 thoughts on “Blue, green, yellow, red and white…

  1. Ahhh, I loved it and please stop telling people you are not a photographer, you’re a photographer, a good one. Better yet, you’re a painter, you paint such vivid pictures with your words alone. Now I am wondering, if I should even participate in this contest. With such stiff competition, I’ probably be better off just reading other entries :)

    • Ok, I’m a photographer. :-) And of course you should participate, just for the fun of exploring the world of colours. As I was choosing the photographs for inclusion here, I was amazed at some of the photos I had clicked without realising the “colours I had captured” in the frame.

    • Thank you so much, Juggler. I have been going through some of the contest entries and have come away amazed at how each one of us looks at the same colour so differently. Much like life itself :-)

  2. Sudhagee, that was a masterclass in photography! You remind me of my self-appointed guru Bryan Peterson! You have a surprisingly astute sense of colours and framing. Thanks for sharing.

    I will surely try to put up a post soon, although I will keep out of the contest.

  3. Agree with Meera here. You are a painter with your words and when you add colours to them, they simply take your breath away. I loved the white and yellow the best, though all are wonderful. All the best for the contest.

    • Thank you so much, Bikram. I still think you should put together a post regardless of whether you want to participate or not. You might be surprised by what you’ll discover about your perceptions on colour. I certainly was :-)

  4. I enjoyed the post and your tryst with colors. My favorite color has always been blue. I never feel blue with blue :). Green is instant rejuvenation. Yellow and red are fun colors, and white is so serene and peaceful. My husband brought a lot of red, yellow, and orange in my wardrobe. I guess life becomes more colorful with a fun partner. All the best for the contest, Sudhagee.

    • Thanks, Rachna. I have lots of yellows and reds in my wardrobe too as well every shade in between. So much so that I am banned from buying anything in these colours by my friends :-)

    • Welcome here, Jas, and thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. Thank you also for your lovely comment and encouragement. When I saw the huge Baptistry Window at Coventry Cathedral towering above me, I was awestruck. It took me a while to take out my camera and take the picture that is posted here.

  5. Those pictures are GOOD. You are quite a photographer. :)
    I found the glass panels very, very interesting. I’ve never seen anything like that.
    All the best for the contest.

    • Thanks, dNambiar. The Baptistry Window is indeed quite a sight and if you are ever in England, di try and make a trip to Coventry to see its Cathedrals. Its worth it. :-)

  6. Superb photography Sudha! Enjoyed the pictures and your descriptions….amazing how we perceive and interpret the colors. While the blue is supposedly sad, it is a lovely bright blue, and the red actually brightens the blue like the red train did to the otherwise dull bridge. Yes, you are right, red is spice and splash! The yellow you have captured and described is so poetic and simply breathtaking! I loved this picture and description the best. While I tend to be partial to the rejuvenating and livening green, the yellow picture and description takes my breath away!
    Superb and way to go! Wish you luck for the contest!

    • Thank you so much, Jayess. I know how much you like green, so I’m quite surprised by your comments on the yellow. :-) Do I see a shift in loyalty from green to yellow? :-P

  7. You coloured your blog so well with lovely pics & amazing write up
    throughly enjoyed I can connect BLUE with vast expanse of ocean
    acqamarine waters -lovely blue sky on the horizon.
    GREEN is lush green forest. Yellow the colour of volcanic lava
    RED colour of beautiful Rose,& white colour of PEACE./SNOW

  8. Colourful Indeed! Yello has always made my mood lively. It gives me that kick when its sad and gloomy. I love your pictures particularly the yellow one Good luck!

  9. It is strange how colours symbolise so many different things for each one of us. To me colours have acquired different meanings and connotations over the years. Being a bit of a hesitant artist – colours have always fascinated me and every colour has held different meanings at various points of time.
    your photographs have added poetry and meaning to your writing –

    my favourite is the baptistry window for the sheer brilliance of the yellow light streaming through the panels screaming ‘truth’ and ‘light’

    loved the green for the beautiful juxtaposition of ‘life after death’ or rather the continuity of life

    the blue station for the wonderful perspective – very good picture frame (blue as you know is my favourite colour that I wear)

    the red train – a gorgeous splash of colour

    white has always been my favourite for houses and buildings – the visual constrasts of the other colours make the white houses more striking.

    • The Baptistry Window is my favourite too for two reasons—yellow is the dominant colour and the fact that eben after 3 years I cannot forget my first glimpse of the window. And form the comments I’m getting it seems that it is a favourite of many other readers too. :-) Thanks, Neena, for your beautiful comments.

    • Thank you for tagging me in the first place, Anu; I would never have known about this otherwise. Though I had great fun choosing the photographs, I did struggle with zeroing in on the green and the white.

      As for the yellow, it seems to everyone’s favourite :-)

  10. Ah ! I though I had commented here?
    Well, my favourites here are yellow & red though white is equally good picture. Yellow is not my color but here it’s very intriguing. :)

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