Colors of Greg Considine: ‘Reflections of Melbourne’

Taking inspiration from abstract expressionism, surrealism and impressionism, painters from Salvador Dali, Joan Miró, Jackson Pollack to Paul Klee, and using a 19th century window pane as his preferred medium of expression, Greg Considine has created an inspiring series of smoothly graceful, beautifully volatile and emotional reflection photos.

I got in touch with Greg to tell us a little more about his process of taking refection photos and the color inspiration behind his fluid and imaginative photo series ‘Reflections of Melbourne‘.

COLOURlovers: Tell me about your background.

Greg Considine: I have worked for a long time as a union advocate and recently took a long break to recharge my batteries. Prior to concentrating on reflections I used to shoot color and B&W digital infrared images as well as wildlife. Most of my time off work was spent taking photos, printing and exhibiting.

CL: How did you start taking reflection photos?

GC: As my photographic eye improved I started noticing them and found abstract expressionism, surrealism and impressionism ready made in old plate glass windows.

CL: Can you tell me about your process for taking your reflection photos?

GC: My favored medium for reflection is old 19th century plate glass-the old process produced sheets which were not flat and contain different densities and patterns-these distort the light nicely.

The key to my process is manually focusing telephoto lenses – I find 200mm, 300mm and 400mm all useful and sometimes I use a 600mm. My aim is usually to compose the photo so that the window surrounds are not in frame to reduce or eliminate cropping so that I can preserve large print size options. The right focal length lens enables this.

Once composed, I then play with focus – as the window glass is reflecting from the surface, the inside of the pane and the rear surface, one therefore has some choice as to what is captured.

Focus will sometimes accentuate certain aspects of the reflection. Other times I choose to focus and then stop down on a tripod with cable release and mirror lock up to capture the whole reflection.

When the tripod is not high enough or I am scouting for new shots I sometimes use high ISO and shoot hand held.

CL: What do you look for in your compositions?

GC: I like primary color combinations or monochrome color and I look for either impressionist street scenes, or abstract distortions which bear no resemblance to the subject being reflected.

I also like the appearance of abstract faces and animals etc. which are a little trompe l’œil.

I also like geometric distortion and, where possible, the illusion of depth. Sometimes I set up the shot and then wait for a pedestrian or vehicle that is the ‘right ‘ color.

I tend not to process my images very much – usually remove glare and improve contrast, saturation and sharpness. Sometimes there are gems hidden in glare.

CL: Where does your inspiration come from?

GC: Painters mainly – abstract expressionists and surrealists – from Dali, Miro, Pollack, Klee… and also some artists I know personally have been helpful with regards to color interplay and general encouragement. If you can get a painter genuinely interested in a photo then you are doing pretty well!

CL: What’s the most colorful place you have ever been to figuratively and/or literally?

GC: I live in Fitzroy, Melbourne and there is plenty of color reflected in its windows, both figuratively and literally – I have just scratched the surface of my surrounds – some of my favorite photographs have been taken a stones throw from my home.

More Photos from ‘Reflections of Melbourne’

I came across Greg’s work through the magic of the Internet, which, if you haven’t realized yet, has torn down geographical (if you live outside a major metropolitan area you probably don’t have access to as many great galleries as you might hope) and pretentious “walls” that separate the artist from the art lover. The Internet is creating a free and open exchange that can take a 100 foot installation or 70 inch photograph and turn it into a small 500 pixel image on a blog, which will be probably be viewed on a 15 inch computer screen… Okay, I guess it isn’t perfect yet, but it is still creating a new place for inspiration, art and the creative process.

All photos courtesy of Greg Considine

Author: evad
David Sommers has been loving color as COLOURlovers' Blog Editor-in-Chief for the past two years. When he's not neck deep in a rainbow he's loving other things with The Post Family (, a Chicago-based art blog, artist collective & gallery.