“‘Chroma I’ and ‘Chroma II’ comprise a series I have been working on for the past couple of years,” explains Australian photographer Ben Thomas. “For ‘Chroma,’ I wanted to use color as both mechanism and protagonist. My aim was to transform urban sprawls into illustrative, flat and colorful images to the point where they seem hyperreal.”
From Thomas’s point of view, there is a lot of beauty around us that goes unnoticed. With the “Chroma” series, he wanted to create a distinctive aesthetic that celebrates the architecture and design in our surroundings. “In a world where we are inundated with images and photography, I wanted to create something that would cut through—something that would speak to the viewer immediately. I hope that people feel encouraged to track down and discover what is special about their own environment and other cities around the world.”
Looking for specific locations to photograph was an ever-evolving aspect of the series for Thomas. For some of the images, he spent a lot of time looking for situations vacant of people, wanting to concentrate as much as he could on the architecture or design within the scene. “For others, I wanted to look at the interactions people have with their cities. Overall, for ‘Chroma II’ specifically, I would look at how color was used as part of the overall design of a city.”
Elaborating on the specific way he produced this work, Thomas explained that the work came down to a couple of key elements: “First, the weather had a real impact. A bright and sunny environment is key; it lays the foundation for the unique colors in each piece. I then spent a year fine-tuning this process to bring my vision to reality; I wanted to set myself the challenge of pushing my technique forward as far as I could. In terms of the tools I used, I’m shooting on a mix of Canon and Sigma kits with all of my post-production workflow on Lightroom and Photoshop.”
The series, which Thomas shot from March 2016 onwards and expects to finish in February 2017, will find a continuation in “Chroma III,” planned for late next year.
—Jorrit R. Dijkstra
Editors’ note: This compelling project was selected as a juror’s pick in the LensCulture Emerging Talent Awards 2016. Discover why this caught the eye of juror Xavier Soule (Président, Agence and Galerie VU’).