As I was looking at my images all packaged up for my Exhibition in a couple of week’s time I was struck by the colour tones I had chosen. Maybe it was inevitable that I would choose images that work together in terms of their colour range but nevertheless it is interesting that the majority are predominantly green and/or purple. As I thought about it I remembered Robert Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotion.

Plutchik takes the traditional colour wheel and extends it to suggest emotions based on the colours and their intensity. At the base are the lighter shades of low emotional intensity and at the apex, that is the centre point, the pure colours represent greater levels of intensity.

Traditional Colour Wheel

Plutchik identified eight primary emotions that form four opposites, like the complementary colours of the traditional wheel as follows:

  • Joy versus sadness
  • Trust versus disgust
  • Fear versus anger
  • Anticipation versus surprise

Plutchik’s Colour Wheel – 1980

A number of my recent images are on the yellow side of green indicating acceptance and trust alongside serenity, joy and ecstasy. This is interesting as I feel my journey to finding hope and light from the torment of my police days is bearing fruit. I am now able to work in colour, enjoy using colour to represent my experience of the loch and revealing the essence of Skye, and in doing so capturing luminosity and depth in green hues.

Reeds – Alison Price, August 2019

On the other side of the colour wheel to yellow is purple. Another colour that is dominant in my recent work and my choice of images for my Exhibition.

Reeds – Alison Price, August 2019

Reeds – Alison Price, July 2019

Reeds – Alison Price, July 2019

Purple indicates a more sombre mood – grief, sadness and pensiveness. Given the recent passing of my mother, this should not be a surprise to me but it is interesting how moods and emotions can influence our shooting choices. The purple tones also reflect loss of youth and innocence and the sadness associated with that, but overlaid is the green in its various hues reflecting acceptance, trust and serenity.  As I reflect it is fascinating and quite sobering in seeing how the non-conscious choices mirror my state of mind and potentially can communicate it to others.  As Freeman Patterson says “The camera looks both ways.” (Patterson 1977).

Another interesting image choice for the Exhibition is this one:

Reeds – Alison Price, July 2019

Here the deep blue verging on purple background reflects the sense of loss and grief, but the golden yellow signifies anticipation and hope.  So, without explicitly realising it, I have put together a set of images with hidden meanings – some representing the dark times by the Loch and others where my heart has lifted and my spirit is able to capture those green tones.

References

PATTERSON, Freeman. 1977. Photography for the Joy of It. Toronto: Van Nostrand Reinhold Ltd.

PLUTCHIK, R. 1980. The Nature of Emotions. American Scientist 89.

Alison Price

Alison Price

My name is Alison Price and for the past ten years I have travelled the world photographing wildlife, including Alaska, Antarctica, Borneo, Botswana, the Canadian Arctic, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
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