I decided to desaturate the colours on a few of the shots of my kids doing typical campsite stuff…whittling sticks they had found and building fires. I reduced the colour saturation to –80 to give the photos an old fashioned timeless appearance. Of course the modern camping equipment and clothing are a give-away, but the almost monochromatic colours create a soft, quiet feel to the photos which I think fits in with each child’s focused concentration on the task at hand. It was going to be a late dinner as the sun was setting over the lake and the shadows were soft.
I cropped the photos quite close in on the kids to create a feeling of intimacy…yet no one is looking into the camera. There is a sense that the photographer is an outsider to all the action around the campfire.
The soft faded colours and lack of eye contact with the photographer create distance between the viewer and subject.
Desaturating the colours also allows the viewer to concentrate on the big shapes and large areas of light and dark, much like how an artist will squint to see the dominant forms and patterns of light and dark.
Sometimes colour is just a distraction.