Go BIG or Go RED

Once, during a photo competition I was hosting, I overheard one of the judges say "I tell my students, 'when you don't have the greatest of shots, make it really BIG or RED!'"  Overhearing statements like this are part of the reason I enjoy being around such professionals.  They remind us of the basics and I am forever learning as I move through my photog life and hope to continue learning until the end!  Some things may seem trivial like this, but even when you think you know something, it's nice to get an unsolicited reminder; especially one that stays with you.

Red = vibrancy
Red = anger
Red = excitement
Red = love
Red = emotion
Red = ? (Fill in the blank)

Red is just one of those appealing and gripping colors. It screams "look at me!" And you can't help but feel some kind of emotion from it. It can also help distract from the ordinary of just about anything. 

Photo credit: Samantha Marshall (waiting for takeout during a snow storm

Photo credit: Samantha Marshall (waiting for takeout during a snow storm

Red is an important color in cultures and history.  It is used during the Chinese New Year celebrations to signify prosperity, wealth, and abundance for the new year.  Red dragons dancing, red envelopes filled with money for the kiddos, red lanterns and more!  As far back as the 15th century, monarchs and royalty wore red to symbolize power.  Many wore robes fashioning red and purple, and even red heels.  Louis XIV declared red heels to be worn to show aristocratic status.  Fast forward to modern times and we can find iconic nods to history in Christian Louboutin's shoes... all with red soles.

Photo Credit: the Christian Louboutin website

Photo Credit: the Christian Louboutin website

In searching for pops of red, the following caught my eye.  It's a beautiful composition of architecture and it's as if the cows knew where to stand to balance this photog's shot. It caught my eye because of the red barn, but kept my attention because of the capture of the animals. 

Photo credit: Paul from Chicago "Milk? Got It"  So this is a departure from the last couple of posts. A friend and I saw this barn from afar. It was SO red that we had to drive over and investigate. Nice country scene I thought. Click click click...")

Photo credit: Paul from Chicago "Milk? Got It"  So this is a departure from the last couple of posts. A friend and I saw this barn from afar. It was SO red that we had to drive over and investigate. Nice country scene I thought. Click click click...")

Why are barns red?  For hundreds of years, farmers have been painting their barns red, or something like it.  The paint wasn't really paint, but a stain of skimmed milk, lime and red iron oxide which created a rusty color mixture and much less expensive than paint.  This cheaper option was used to protect the wood.  Linseed oil was also use to seal the wood and it dried to a coral tint.  Over time, farmers noticed the homemade paint kept the building warmer during the winter months since color absorbed the heat of the sun.  This in turn made red a popular choice and an American iconic tradition used still today.

Photo credit: Samantha Marshall 

Photo credit: Samantha Marshall 

Antiques, fruit, flowers...  We can find it without evening looking for it, cheering us up on a drab day or just welcoming us into a shop. 

What do you feel when you literally see red?

Happy Valentine's Day!
Stay Sweet,
Sam.