journal

Jeffrey Byrnes Photographer Fashion + Portraits + Travel

Red: A photo essay

Every so often when I get a chance to take a break from work to focus on making images for me I like to shoot what I see. That ideology is similar to the pervious post “Night Photography: Snow,” that I posted a few nights back. When I first started my career as a photographer I had a lot of these moments. These were the good ol days of just shooting purely for fun and for testing. Testing ideas, locations, types of work, and cameras. I could calculate out all the images I’ve made, all the time I’ve spent making them, but there is not real value in doing that because every time I make an image now, it is a reflection of those moments.

One seemingly colder than usually day in November I took a walk around Northampton, Ma with my Fuji X-Pro 2. This was before I discovered that I could just pop the lens back into place and make all right again with the planes of focus. When I parked the car I grabbed my camera and a spare battery and proceeded to take a walk. I had no plan in place. No set goal or idea of what I would like to photograph. I looked over my should just as the car door shut and I saw this image.

I didn’t see the bullet holes until I was processing the shoot. What I saw was the color red, brilliant and intense. The shadow stood out the most as a dark red image overlaid on the exterior of a defunct dinner. I decided in that moment I was going to shoot the color red. If I saw an object, person, or scene with red, it would be composed in my lens.

This was not an exercise in red. This was not a red car syndrome project. It was, however, an afternoon of walking around and identifying elements around me that I could tie into photographs I had just made. Had I stepped out of the car and saw the color blue or a old bicycle, they could have inspired me just as much as the red shadow crawling up the side of the Diner. When a photographer takes time to un-think and clear their minds to create work just for the purposes of creating, they are free to see, free to produce, free to re-think and see. I can’t say that every image I make inspires the next, but when I take time to make photographs like this, when I have a few hours or a day, or when I travel and shoot, I produce work that will in some way affect my future work. That is the nature of creativity.

Desaturated red brick with strong shadow of a lamp.

Desaturated red brick with strong shadow of a lamp.

Man in red pants

Man in red pants

Red awning

Red awning

Tis the seasons, Mrs. Claus suit

Tis the seasons, Mrs. Claus suit

Red books in a store front

Red books in a store front

Red bags

Red bags

Red car

Red car

Red rugs in a store front

Red rugs in a store front

Red shadow on a car

Red shadow on a car

A red prayer

A red prayer

Gumballs

Gumballs

Circles

Circles

Man in red walks dog

Man in red walks dog

Man in red walks dog even more

Man in red walks dog even more

A woman in red coat

A woman in red coat

Boy with red balloon

Boy with red balloon