Contrast – of Luminance, Colour and more


August 5, 2018 ·

Christopher Sanderson

A New Never Before Published Video Of Michael Reichmann

For several years in late Fall, Michael & I used to drive from Toronto to Michael’s winter home in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. We drove instead of flying because of LuLa – no, not this website but Michael’s lovely golden retriever LuLa who had been given the name that had become the short form of The Luminous Landscape. Lula didn’t like to fly but preferred to sample the colours, textures, and smells of all the places we visited on the four-day journey.

LuLa by Michael

The following Spring we used to make the journey northward. Michael & I shot along the way, listened to rock & jazz at high volume and discussed plans for videos & the website. On one such journey – one of the last, we came up with the idea of doing some short informal tutorial videos on various aspects of ‘seeing’. For me, the ability to identify and pre-visualize a photograph has generally involved at least a healthy dose of serendipity and I was always mightily impressed by Michael’s ability to ‘see’ – especially on the street where circumstances are constantly evolving. I wanted to know how he was able consistently to see subjects that I could not. What was his secret sauce?

Michael Reichmann at his doorway in San Miguel de Allende, February 2013

Life’s events overtook our plans for these tutorials and the series was never completed. However, the first segment was mostly ‘in the can’ but has languished on my hard drives for the past five years. I have finally turned my hand to its completion. At this distance of time and circumstance, the small work was a real pleasure to complete. I hope you find watching it that way too.

24 min

If you enjoyed this video, you might also enjoy a post that Michael made about the same time that we recorded it: Why What Works. In this short post, Michael suggests the three components of our incomplete tutorials on Seeing and what makes a photograph worthwhile, Contrast, Gesture and Implication. I regret we never recorded more than this one on Contrast.

As a current web tech answer to Michael’s statement that certain pictures do not work well on the web, I have uploaded a few of the photographs shown to Prodibi. This allows you to zoom in to the full resolution of the original image – you too can enjoy the detail of the dried bougainvillea leaf resting on that mysterious red staircase. Just click on the ‘Panteon y Ron‘ photograph below to explore this photograph and a few others.


The original post on Colour Theory from March 2001 that Michael mentions in the video can be found here.

Check out the links to the right.

Chris Sanderson
August 2018

Christopher Sanderson

Chris was a founding Partner of The Luminous Landscape and a member of the Board of The Luminous Endowment

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