There’s something fantastic about when a photographer uses a familiar technique in such a new and unexpected way. Perhaps there’s a different perspective or a different combination of techniques that you didn’t think of, and you want to kick yourself for not thinking of it sooner. Well, I didn’t kick myself because I’m not that flexible, but I am pretty sure I had a reaction that only happens in campy sit-coms when I saw one such photo: I smacked myself on the forehead. The cause for the embarrassing red forehead? Bus Trail 2, shown here, by Linda Goodhue. Head feeling better and with a clearer mind, I revisited the photo at a later date and its impact is the same. In short, Bus Trail 2 is a simple but elegant blend of simple techniques.
Photography can be thought of as cooking. The ingredients are pretty basic, except that instead of eggs, ham and cheese you use depth of field, shutter speed and ISO. Of course the thing that separates me from Chef Bobby Flay is the simple fact that he can use eggs, ham and cheese in simple but fantastic ways where as I….can only make an omelet. As photographers, we have this large box of pieces – the same pieces that every photographer has – which can be combined in any number of ways. Linda has combined a slow shutter speed with selective color, an interesting pairing that is rarely seen together. I find that refreshing.
Linda’s use of selective color is perhaps the thing that captivates me most about this photograph. The rich orange color is immediately eye catching. It’s a bold color with a bold stroke across the photograph. The strength of the orange streak is enhanced by the treatment of the balance of the photo. This is not your typical black and white with a splash of color. No, there’s a secret ingredient and that’s the slight bluish tinting which serves as a nice companion to the orange. These are, of course, the fine and subtle details that makes the photo work – no, thrive – as a whole.
The motion blur takes somewhat of a second fiddle to the use of selective color here, but that doesn’t make it any less meaningful. Part of the appeal of Bus Trail 2 is the abstract form that wouldn’t at all be possible without the element of time. The long exposure afforded Linda the ability to capture time in the shot. Time, perhaps, is therefore the subject to which Linda applied her selective color paint brush. While the selective color is ultimately the element that captures our eye and pulls us into the photo, Bus Trail 2 would not have been possible.
If you are inspired by Linda Goodhue‘s photograph, Bus Trail 2, you should take several minutes to browse her massive collection of works at Flickr. In it you will find lots of great and inspiring photographs from all corners of the photography genre spectrum including portraits, travel, landscapes and commercial styles. Linda’s work should be an inspiration to us all.