Red Van

I have said, and others have also said, that when we travel to a place we take images that are ‘of’ that place, and we also take images that happen to be taken ‘at’ that place but are not really of that place – meaning they are images that have a life all of their own outside of the environment in which they happen to have been taken.

This one falls into that second category. It was taken at Birling Gap on the South Coast. After leaving the beach we walked up onto the Chalk Cliffs and I happened to glance inland. There was a red van on the winding road and it was one of those occasions when I knew exactly when to shoot, and what the final processed image would look like before I pressed the shutter.

Red is the real ‘stand out’ primary colour, and de-saturating all the colours other than red during processing is a very easy task. Sometimes there are the odd bits of red elsewhere in the image that need to be de-saturated, but that is easy to do by making a selection of those extraneous bits and removing the ‘red’.

All that was left was to darken the sky to add a little more atmosphere to the image – and I loved that tiny sliver of light on the far horizon just creating a little separation tonally between land and sky.

Remember to click on the image to see a higher quality enlargement.


About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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10 Responses to Red Van

  1. Chillbrook says:

    Red in the photo somewhere! You’ve certainly picked out the red here Andy. I love the way you’ve processed this. The composition is lovely with the leading line of the road heading no doubt, to the town in the background. Smashing photograph! 🙂

    • LensScaper says:

      Hi Adrian. Yes, that’s either East Dean or Friston in the background on the main coast road from Newhaven to Eastbourne. The minor road in the picture continues up over Beachy Head. A road with a sinuous curve always suggests an image, good fortune to see a red van travelling along it at just the right moment.

  2. oneowner says:

    I’ve been a fan of selective color since my hand coloring days and it still fascinates me. But the color for color sake is seldom enough to maintain interest. I think the photo has to be good to start with, too. This is great example.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Ken. You are right: selective colour can’t make a bad image good, but it can make a good image better. It was nice to be in the right place at the right time to capture this image.

  3. kutukamus says:

    Some very rich [of-stories] ‘at’, then 🙂

  4. For me those photos taken at a place but are not really of the place, are often the more interesting, like this one. I like it a lot. Sometimes leaving one colour in a monochromatic photo feels a little contrived, but here it’s just perfect. The red car in the big landscape. Beautifully captured and processed.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks very much for your comment, Otto. One of the hardest things in photography is being able to see the end from the beginning. When it happens it’s a special moment.

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