May 02, 2012

Life in Color

I just purchased Nichole Robertson's lovely book, Paris in Color.  It is pure eye-candy: gorgeous photos of the most ordinary things that seem extraordinarily beautiful in part because they are in Paris, the most beautiful of cities.  Ms. Robertson moved to Paris with her family three years ago.  She describes how, strolling through Paris, the color of a particular chair, door, or vehicle would catch her eye and she would become fixated on that color for the rest of the day.  She began taking a series of photos highlighting each vivid or subtle hue. For even more of Nichole Robertson's beautiful photos, visit her blog, Little Brown Pen, and follow her on Pinterest.

Paris in Color is an inspiration. I have taken countless photos in Paris, mostly the same photos that everyone takes - the requisite cathedrals, Tour Eiffel, Pyramide du Louvre, Notre Dame, and the Arc de Triomphe. I have deviated from the tourist attractions to photograph flowers and produce in the neighborhood markets, Haussmannian apartments and Mansard roofs, pastries in bakery windows, and glasses of wine. One year, I peered at architecture and landscapes to photograph the entire alphabet.  That Christmas, I offered my friends and families their names as I saw them in Paris. Ms. Robertson's book has inspired me to tune in to Paris' spectrum the next time I visit (in January).

But why limit the project to Paris?  Why not see everyday through rose- (or yellow- or blue-...) colored glasses?  This year, I have been experimenting with a 366-project (it's Leap Year), posting a photo a day to my Tumblr (Une Chose).  In January, I struggled with what to post.  The cold Wisconsin winter was not very inspiring.  I took photos of anything that was interesting in my home, as well as the waning light in the gray sky and the drifts of snow.  When there seemed to be nothing to photograph, I posted photos I took while traveling, especially in Paris.  In February, I chose a theme: love.  I posted photos of hearts and flowers, locks on the Pont des Arts.... In March, I decided to look for photo challenges online. Each day since, I have posted my version of the photo of the day: feelings, shapes, times, etc.

It is finally spring, and my garden is awakening.  A myriad of violet, yellow, blue and white violas have pushed their way through the mulch, the redbud is studded with tiny magenta blossoms.  The delicate green leaves of the hostas, daisies, and columbine are emerging.  The salvia is sending up deep purple spikes.  There is color everywhere! At my desk, I am struck by the lovely red and blue fins of our betta fish, the shades of white and cream in pebbles at the bottle of his fish bowl.  My yellow Marquette travel mug sits next to a stack of powder blue post-its and Ms. Robertson's magnificent book.

Each week, I plan to tune into a particular hue, paying attention to it's presence and impact.  Visit my blog for weekly updates!