Color of Place Discussion on “This Week in Photo”


I had the opportunity to catch up with Fredrick Van Johnson on This Week In Photo. Click here to view our discussion about the importance of color, technology and personal projects.

Color of Place with Julieanne Kost


Posted on 04-23-2019


  • By Dave - 11:20 AM on April 24, 2019  

    But aren’t you already skewing the results? You wrote: “I try to find the photos which best represent the colors of a specific location.” If when making your selections, that’s biasing the “data”; if only while shooting, then your analysis does reflect the scenes.

    • By Julieanne Kost - 7:02 PM on April 24, 2019  

      Hi Dave – Absolutely! While I found that I was able to create a unique color palette for every location specific to the time of my visit, the color palette that I chose to represent that location was far from being objective. First, there were obvious external factors that would bias the color palette such as the locations that I chose to visit, the time of day that I photographed, and the season/weather conditions. Then, there were personal biases such as what subjects I choose to photograph and, what subjects I deliberately avoided. And, there were additional, subjective biases when it came to selecting my “favorite” fifty images, compounded by the discretionary selection of a portion the original, distorted again by the order in which they were arranged. So, while I found it impossible to create a truly objective color palette, I was able to create an image based on how I experienced the location. : )

      • By Dave - 9:37 AM on April 25, 2019  

        Granted that ALL photos are subjective, so your choice of images for the analysis is also subjective. But that now makes me wonder how the color analyses might look if you could — somehow — make a set of random selections from all the images taken in one location. That result might be a bit more like a “Martin Parr”-like look at the bland as well as the more appealing subjects. It’s all about what your eye sees… 😉

        • By Julieanne Kost - 7:12 AM on April 30, 2019  

          I think that would be a very interesting exercise. I tried taking the middle “strip” of each image, but the results weren’t nearly as interesting (although they might have been less biased – which is more to your point). It would also be interesting to see the results of taking a frame from continuously recording video while out and about in a location. That might make it less subjective. But then again, it all depends on where the person goes and what captures their attention… Regardless, it was a fun project and certainly made me think about color – not only how it effects me as a photographer while I make the photo, but also the colors that I choose to include in the photo, and how those colors might be interpreted by the viewer of the photo. Thanks for your comments. : )

          • By Dave - 1:56 PM on May 6, 2019  

            Glad to be part of the discussion. After all that I wrote, I do think your exercise was worth it. After all, what’s important in our photography is what catches our eye, so analyzing your “keepers” vs. a random selection makes more sense in the long run.

  • By Shoilen sannamat - 3:57 AM on April 27, 2019  

    The podcast is awesome and full of Photoshop knowledge for a designer like us. Colours are useful media to express your imagination through images. So dividing colours separately of an image and try whether we can express an image with colour is an interesting thing for me.

  • By Geoff Baylis - 5:09 AM on May 5, 2019  

    These are fascinating images and it’s difficult to see how they apply to places one has never visited but for Singapore, which I visited in January, I could immediately visualise the view across Marina Bay to the panorama of office buildings which line the eastern shore. It’s an interesting concept and one which I shall definitely experiment with. Many thanks for posting it.