As I mentioned last time, I love wandering the streets of Charleston capturing images of windows, doors, and other elements of architecture. Although all of Charleston is beautiful, the first few blocks south of Broad and west of the Battery are the most picturesque. Of all of those streets and back alleys, Tradd Street is my favorite. When I am wandering through those blocks whenever I intersect with Tradd Street I find myself turning onto it. It’s like there is a gravitation pull between the charms of Tradd Street and my camera.
As I’ve practiced my craft of photography I’ve begun to learn a few lessons about what makes a successful image for me. The first – and perhaps the most obvious – is that each image needs a clearly defined focus. Too often I’m guilty of standing before a scene that catches my eye and simply snapping an image of all that is before me. I’m learning that even in those situations something has to be the focal point.
The second lesson that I have been focusing on is the power of color and contrast. In the past I might have tried to have as much variety of color in one frame as possible. I’ve realized over time that the images which I consider the most powerful often contain only one color or have a strong contrast between two colors. I now look to isolate simple elements and capture their contrast with their background or surroundings.
This image is a combination of both of those principles. Although Tradd Street is lines with colorful buildings of which this is one, I chose to isolate this red building with its blue shutters and white frames. The pig and the flower boxes are interesting elements but not the main attraction. The image is interesting because of all of its individual elements, but it’s powerful because of the contrast created by its red, blue, and white elements.
If you’re ever in Charleston you should spend a few hours south of Broad and you should definitely visit Tradd Street. You won’t regret the time you spend there. Enjoy.