There’s a trick to pulling off sublime color combinations, and it’s all about kicking some colors in the balls so that one particular color can win the fucking spelling bee.

If you look at movies from the 1950s and 1960s it’s immediately noticeable just how much more colorful they were. At the time, they used a type of film, called Technicolor, which was the reason for it.

Take a look at some of the scenes from “The Vikings”, which was produced in 1958. Look how one or two colors will pop, and then consider how dismal many of the other colors become.

You see what I mean?

Truly, colors in those films were more vivid than they were in real life. But, like I said, it also meant that lesser colors were de-prioritized.

And that works.

Lessening one force, to accentuate another.

An old trick, and a powerful one:

There are some who specialize in cinematography and lighting, and many can talk for days about camera angles and volumetric lighting, if you’re willing to listen. Fascinating though it all is, personally, my expertise is rooted in drawing and sculpting, and when there’s extra time for polish I’m most likely to revisit a model or a texture I’d like to improve. But, that being said, I try to remind myself to keep growing, and that minor time investments in areas of work I’m less familiar with can actually have greater payouts, ultimately.

Focusing on colors, obviously, pays off.

Back in 2012, I had a boss named Waldo.

I’d never heard of urban exploring before, but according to him, it was incredible. He described the thrill of braving the darkness, and crawling into the depths of dilapidated theater halls of the 1930s and the turn-of-the-century industrial ruins riddled with strange and archaic machinery.

Obviously, I was sold. It sounded like every outing was it’s own micro-adventure, each a few hours long.

I bought a flashlight for the occasion, and was surprised that they’d only recently started using a 50+ array of LEDs, rathar then bulbs.

We met outside work, and another guy: Jason, joined us.

I fiddled with the casing on the back of the flashlight, trying to get the batteries to fit properly, and they paused mid-conversation at my fumbling attempts.

Waldo claimed he was having second thoughts, just then, about bringing me.

I’d grunted at that, then gestured for him to get in the fucking car, and away we went.

I was deceived, however.

Contrary to my lofty expectations, we spent the next five hours traipsing around a dry sewer system.

It may have been more correct to call it a ‘waterway’, or flood channel, as it didn’t source waste. At least, I don’t think it did. It smelled like a basement. I saw many strange things, laughed a few times, learned a bit, but mostly I found myself criticizing the artistry of the graffiti and looking over my shoulder every few seconds to ensure we weren’t being followed by any ghoulish, depraved crack addicts or organ thieves. Because, in those dark tunnels, both seemed plausible realities.

When we finally emerged into daylight, however, I had a realization.

Down there, in those tunnels, shadows prevailed: colors were smothered, degraded and often indiscernible. It was only when stepping back into the light, as I felt my eyes watering and straining, that I felt truly alive again, as if some strange source of energy within me was awakening and realigning itself.

I’ve heard from some that, if you’re down in absolute darkness too long, then after several days your eyes will actually stop perceiving color. You go blind.

Can you imagine that?

I can’t.

I’m not a man accustomed to feeling fear often, but the thought of being blind gives me the shivers to consider. I suspect I’d feel helpless, adrift, and utterly dead inside without my vision.

Without my vision, I couldn’t function. I would cease to be me. Hell, I doubt I’d even want to go by the same name.

I spent a decade playing the saxophone as a teenager, and that’s the only thing I believe I could do without sight. There’s literally nothing else I can think of that I could do.

I would rather fight a zoo’s worth of wild animals than risk going blind.

I guess I’d have to say it’s my only real, true fear.