Recently I was talking with a new client about some ideas for a location shoot and they were lamenting that…. “everything is so dreary here”. After I stopped sputtering and coughing I quickly put together some sample images of the locations I was proposing for the shoot and showed them.

They looked the samples and, with a somewhat baffled look on their faces, asked me how I was so lucky to find such colorful spots in the same place they just visited and saw “nothing”. They protested that they did not get the same impression from those places. Then the almost inevitable comment followed… “Ah Photoshop!?” so I had to do the Not-Shopped-Speech. Yes, I use PS as well as several other tools to help realize my vision but the colours are as I find them.

Just as it’s not the stove that cooks a great meal, nor a paint brush that brings a canvas to life, and it’s not the piano that stirs the soul, so too it’s not the camera or software that crafts a moving image. Yes, those are the tools used but the eye is the door to the wonders of a place. Good tools can help (and sometimes hinder) one to realize that vision but without an eye for seeing that door is forever locked.

So I took them for an afternoon walk in downtown Yangon in the pouring rain. We just followed our eyes and explored all the amazing colours that are almost bellowing to be seen this time of year.

They each came back with a whole new appreciation for the art, skill, and joy of looking at the world around them.

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“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
— Marcel Proust

“Man needs colour to live; it's just as necessary an element as fire and water.”
— Fernand Leger

“A picture can express a universal humanism, or simply reveal a delicate and poignant truth by exposing a slice of life that might otherwise pass unnoticed.”
— Steve McCurry

“Color is very much about atmosphere and emotion and the feel of a place.”
— Alex Webb

“With the brush we merely tint, while the imagination alone produces colour.”
—Theodore Gericault

“The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love colour the most.”
—John Ruskin

“That's the whole problem with science. You've got a bunch of empiricists trying to describe things of unimaginable wonder.”
— Bill Watterson

“Shadow is a colour as light is, but less brilliant; light and shadow are only the relation of two tones.”
— Paul Cezanne

“To me, photography is an art of observation. It's about finding something interesting in an ordinary place... I've found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”
—Elliott Erwitt

“It takes a lot of imagination to be a good photographer. You need less imagination to be a painter because you can invent things. But in photography everything is so ordinary; it takes a lot of looking before you learn to see the extraordinary.”
— David Bailey

“I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life - and I've never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.”
— Georgia O'Keeffe

“In photography, the smallest thing can be a great subject. The little, human detail can become a Leitmotiv.”
— Henri Cartier-Bresson

“I often think of that rare fulfilling joy when you are in the presence of some wonderful alignment of events. Where the light, the colour, the shapes, and the balance all interlock so perfectly that I feel truly overwhelmed by the wonder of it.”
— Charlie Waite

“Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.”
— Claude Monet

“I often painted fragments of things because it seemed to make my statement as well as or better than the whole could.”
—Georgia O'Keeffe

“In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.”
— Alfred Stieglitz

“In my photography, color and composition are inseparable. I see in color.”
— William Albert Allard

I look forward to seeing you out there.

Thank you,

Julian Ray

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If you like what you see. Don’t like what you see. Want to offer a critique. Have a story or an image (or more) on the same subject that you would like to share, please do. I would enjoy hearing form you.


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