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The Role of Color

When I’m at my best, I’m seeing color as a fine ingredient in a recipe. In and of itself, it may have its interesting qualities, but it’s only when color is mixed in with everything else (light, shape, line contrast, focus, and exposure) that the beauty of the color can reveal itself.

If people look at my photographs and the only thing they say is, “Nice color,” I don’t think I’ve succeeded. I’m striving for that experience that I have when l look at the images made by my photographic heroes, filled with a sense of wonder at how uniquely they see the world.

I don’t achieve that every time I pick up a camera, of course. Most times, I fail. But as I continue shooting, I have those moments when I release the shutter with the thrill that I’ve not only seen something wonderful, but managed to capture it in a fraction of second. It’s as close as I’ll ever get to trapping a genie in a bottle.

I want to encourage you to not merely think of white balance as some mechanical setting on a camera, but think of it as one of the more important tools in your camera bag—a tool that will allow you to express how you see and photograph the world.

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