Ben Thomas is a Melbourne-based photographer. At a first glance, some of the colorful images in his Chroma series look like vintage postcards, others have a painterly quality and resemble abstract art, but they are photographs taken in Hong Kong, Shanghai, London, Paris, among other cities. Thomas has sought out urban areas that are high in color and with reduced blacks. Then he has ”stripped out as much of the darker detail in the images as possible, to allow the vibrant color to control the image,” he has explained.
Thomas has used techniques to alter the look of photographs before. In his previous series Anti-Chroma he has utilized techniques to reduce the color and to darkening the blacks. The result in both cases is strikingly beautiful photos.
Your work has centered around cities and urban spaces – what is it about them that you find most fascinating?
I think that every city has its own unique feel, each is almost like a fingerprint, no two are the same. I find it fascinating that people sometimes miss a lot of the detail and design that surrounds them. I have therefore used a number of techniques to help highlight what’s unique about the places we live in.
Can you tell us a little bit about the aesthetics of and ideas behind Chroma / Anti-Chroma and about how they are interrelated?
My aim with Chroma is to use color as a method to deconstruct a scene, I am chasing an aesthetic thats both hyper-real and almost illustrative in its feel. Anti-Chroma is continuing the illustrative and flat aesthetic while removing most of its color, letting the light and shade determine the overall appearance.