The Colours of the Rainbow

Florence panorama 25 12 11_HDR

It really pains me to find that I’ve not posted anything here since April. That’s six months ago! It certainly isn’t for want of opportunity. I can only really claim “other demands on my time” as some kind of excuse.

So, where are we?

Well, the reception for my Venice work (see numerous previous blogs here) has been really good. I’ve felt very flattered to have so many great comments from Venetians themselves who have seen some of the shots. Given how many images of their city they have no doubt been bombarded with over time, I am rather pleased a few of mine have made a mark. Sadly, I’ve not got another Venice visit scheduled until probably September 2019, when the European Masters Athletics Championships will be happening nearby, at Lido di Jesolo.

Aside from the routine of work here in the UK this summer – my photography has been mostly gardens and running – I got to Malaga in Spain in September. This wasn’t quite the visit I’d intended. The story is told in two blogs on my other site, here and here. The good news is that my leg is recovering well. My feet seem to be taking a bit longer. Malaga was great for culture – some great galleries, including a branch of the Pompidou Centre, but I got no time off to enjoy much away from the city centre itself, unfortunately.

I am excited at the prospect of a return visit to Florence in December (the header photo to this piece is a teaser). I had something of a love affair with the city a few years ago, and I was surprised to find that this was in the days before I’d even begun this occasional blog, which this time reaches its 54th chapter. I will make amends for that omission from here in the months to come, I promise.

I slipped a bit into the photographic doldrums after Malaga. Dealing with the (thankfully many) orders for copies of my World Masters Championships photos from there occupied many mornings, but adding in the need to catch up on other commitments rather robbed me of time behind the lens. My photographic mojo seemed to have left me a bit too, if I’m honest.

I’d been following a series of miniature “photo essays” on Twitter under the twin hashtags #LifeInColour” and #ROYGBIV for a few weeks. One needed a nomination to take part, and I was very pleased to get one, and have an opportunity to post a picture a day for seven days, covering a “spectrum” of typical stuff I shoot. The rules require each photo to major on a particular colour of the rainbow. I could have raided my archives and produced a set of photos going way back, but that would have taken time I didn’t really have. Therefore, by choice, my seven shots came from the past 12 months. Most came from the past six months, in fact.

What was unexpected was that this exercise taught me some interesting things about what I shoot. The work I do for myself remains varied, though maybe not quite so much as it once was. I definitely have colours that seem to attract me more than others. Green? No problem, I thought. But indigo? Who has a range of indigo shots to choose from? (An irritating aside was that a good few other contributors to LifeInColour didn’t seem to be able to tell indigo from violet, or vice-versa.) And shots with a predominance of red are quite rare in my recent collection. Maybe those things are not a complete surprise for someone whose roots remain in landscape photography.

Well, after that rambling intro, I thought you might like to see my chosen “rainbow”.


The team from India at the World Masters Athletics Championships in Malaga mainly wore bright red. Here is a shot of one of their stars, Hardev Singh, who is over 85 years old, taking part in one of the relay races. I realised that I could equally have used this photo in the “orange” slot.



I love the tricks my garden sometimes plays on me. We had some beautiful crocosmia growing on a rocky patch for quite a few years. Then, about three years back, it simply disappeared. Until this summer when it came back, exactly where it had always grown! I cheated a little with this shot, and used a piece of black card to make a backdrop to the flowers, which were still growing at the time I took the shot.



Another colour I seem not to shoot very much as a dominant theme. My garden has given some really beautiful yellow roses this year, but when I remembered this photo, of one of the British Masters athletes hurdling in Malaga, I couldn’t resist using it. I’m proud of the composition and the colours.



Never going to be a problem for a landscape photographer, I thought. However, nothing I had to hand really screamed “Green!” at me like this close up of some fuchsia leaves in early light, after a night of rain. The symmetry is pleasing, and the photo is as shot.



Blue troubled me too. No problem getting a load of stuff with blue skies, or even blue waters. I’d also, as you’ll have seen from the “Red” photo, recently worked in a stadium in Malaga with a bright blue track surface. However, as much for its memories of the place as anything, I chose this photo of a bicycle I saw in Padova when I was there ten months back. It may be understated, but it’s a lovely blue, nearly matched by the shop poster.



For those struggling to place it, indigo is a deep blue colour. Think night skies in classic paintings, etc. I’d bet there won’t be too many photographers with a large collection of indigo shots. My favourite is this one, with the indigo covers on the Venice gondolas.



Violet is the colour of violets. That’s not actually very helpful though. I have white violets in my garden, and even the other-coloured ones are not a classic shade of true violet. However, I couldn’t resist this shot – an overload of violet. It was taken on the Venetian island of Burano, when the wisteria was in bloom. This japanese couple had come all the way from Tokyo to get married in Venice.


Why not have a go at your own “rainbow”? If it causes you as much critical reflection on your photos as it did me with mine, I’ll probably have done you a favour.


About tomsprints

I am a Masters athlete and freelance photographer living in Kent, in Great Britain. I'm a sprinter. As well as competing, my camera and I work regularly for the British Masters Athletics Federation and the European and World Masters Athletics organisations. For pleasure, I'm (principally) a landscape photographer. I have been blessed with the chance of spending quite a lot of time in the European Alps in the last 30 years. My web site is a vehicle for a my photographic work, and is at I run two blogs. One is about what it's like to be an older athlete ( ) and the other is basically about my photography ( ), although they often overlap.
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