The last time I used colour consistently was last summer with my Pentax K10D, approaching a year ago now.
Since then, I’ve enjoyed an extended mono phase, partly because I just love the simplicity of black and white, and partly because I haven’t really found a consistent way of making colour photographs I like.
I’ve come close with presets in Hipstamatic, then Snapseed, and not quite so close with the in camera settings of my Pentax Q.
Out on my first proper photowalk the other day with the Lumix GF1, trying out one of my favourite lenses I’ve ever used, an M42 Zeiss Flektogon 35/2.4, I was, as has become the norm, well immersed in monochrome.
The GF1, like its little sibling the LX3, has an excellent dynamic monochrome mode that gives me b/w images I like straight out of camera.
But then I came across a leaf on the forest floor, that epitomised the slow draw that autumn has over the summer. The colours were too beautiful to ignore and capture in b/w.
So I switched from the b/w custom memory I’ve created to a colour mode.
I half stumbled, half experimented through a set of “My Color” (alas the Japanese, like Americans, can’t spell colour) modes in the GF1, and one that seemed to capture the leaf just as I wanted – natural, yet somehow deeper, more vivid, more special. And yet simultaneously, a little moody and muted too.
Experimenting further, I managed to make a handful of photographs with this mode, after a little extra tweaking, and saved it as a custom mode.
So for now, I have the C1 mode for (dynamic) b/w and C2-1 for what might reasonably be called dynamic colour.
I don’t how much is the camera settings and how much the lens, but I know when I used the Flektogon both with film and with my DSLRs I was rarely disappointed. It has its own certain magic.
It will be interesting to see how this colour set up works with other M42 lenses, and, eventually, with a native Lumix Micro Four Thirds Lens, if I get one down the line.
With this combo though, it makes me very excited to shoot more with the GF1 and Flektogon combo, especially as it was very pleasing with b/w photos too.
How do you shoot and process colour photographs? Does it vary between cameras or do you have one consistent approach that gives you the same colours?
Let us know in the comments below. (Remember to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).
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