Half-week homework: Orange

The breeze finally starts to cool at 7:22, micro drops of the approaching night borne tantalizingly down the mountain astride the languid rays of a dog-day sun bath. It’s the kind of Sunday sunset that silences, enthralling your attention for the course of its short life. It’s the scene in a movie about the meaning of life where a nostalgia-laden soundtrack-centerpiece fades in to take the place of traffic, weed eaters, and grocery lists. The jangly lead line and feeling of having figured it all out—with just the right twang of melancholy—will stick with you for at least a few days after. That sunlight is full of an unfathomable amount of energy, and it isn’t just plants that drink it in. At times like this, when God shows Himself to be a Broncos fan and the golden-orange rays overwhelm the dark-blue dusk and the unsuspecting world, even the most stymied, downtrodden, plain-ol’-beat person among us need only to turn a bit of attention towards them to feel like things might just be alright after all.

Photo by Todd Sigaty.

So, yeah, orange can be a pretty rad color. Forming part two of our rainbow series, your challenge this week is to find and photograph scenes with “orange” as your guiding principle. You may find single orange subjects. popping out from blander surroundings, or you may immerse yourself in a rare scene of total orange-itude. What you do is up to you, but focus your thought process on what you can communicate to the viewers of your photography with the color orange.

It’s powerful: you’ll find it where caution is necessary, but not to the extent that the urgency of red is required… think of traffic cones and hunting jackets. Attention seekers seek it out, whether for utility (e.g. rescue inflatables) or to inflate a bold ego. Orange-hued earth evokes a unique sense of the Southwest; of native people and the desolate transcendence of the desert. Orange is the color of campfires and warm streetlights. Soon it will be fall: orange augurs pumpkins, leaves turning, and Halloween. It’s even one of the colors most evocative of a certain genre of décor from the ‘60s and ‘70s; take your viewers on a trip through time with a carefully-selected appliance. It’s even a fruit, to my knowledge the only color which pulls that particular double-duty. Anyone want to try their hand at a heavily-edited renaissance-style still life?

As always, I hope you’ll keep me looped in on the fun you have. Please share your favorite results, either on our Facebook page or on Instagram tagged #mymikescamera #halfweekhomework. Happy shooting!

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