Saturday, 27 June 2015

colour field analysis

Readers of my photographic abstraction series will know that one of my favourite motifs is oil or petrol on a wet road. What they won’t know is that most such photographs used in this series were taken on the same day several years ago, in the village where I live in Hong Kong, which I put down to the activities of a single leaky vehicle whose owner had finally fixed the problem. Good oil spills are just not that common. I often take photos of oil stains, but these invariably turn out to be almost completely devoid of colour, and as a result increasing the colour saturation and cranking up the contrast has little effect.

However, it was drizzling steadily when I went out for my morning walk yesterday, and to my surprise (and delight), there were vivid oil stains everywhere. Some stains covered such large areas that it was all but impossible to capture them in a single photograph. I could have collected these images and posted them one by one in future editions of the photographic abstraction series, but just as I did with the oil slicks on my local river in Troubled Waters, I’ve decided to post everything together here.

Photos #3–5 are overlapping sections of the same oil stain, but all the others come from different stains. Photos #8–10 were taken when the roads had started to dry out. I’ve given neutral titles to all these pictures so that anyone who feels so inclined can suggest their own.

colour field #1

colour field #2

colour field #3

colour field #4

colour field #5

colour field #6

colour field #7

colour field #8

colour field #9

colour field #10


  1. I think you should sign #6 'God Speaks' and show it in a West End art gallery

    1. That sounds like a good idea Peter, except that the original photo is probably too small. I like your suggested title though.


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