In each installment, a guest writer chooses one Pantone color they find particularly meaningful, intriguing, or just aesthetically beautiful—and tells us why.

Check out our collections dedicated to Pantone 420 C—in vertical and horizontal.

By Tansy Simpson, photographer (featured on Meural)

I work as a Cinematographer, and my mentor Johnny E. Jensen ASC, taught me that my eyes should be the conduit to my soul. When I design my approach to any given film, the images I create have to offer meaning and value and visually emote a film’s narrative.

This requires me to marry technical knowledge with creative expression, and a huge part of this is the consideration and capture of color: how does it react to light and exposure; what does it conjure in terms of mood or character; how does it play against actors coloring; and how does it work within the texture of the environment?

Color is a visual currency and as such it is paramount to my creative process. When choosing a color it became clear to me, that perhaps an underrated but fundamentally important color to me personally, is gray.

Gray is my baseline, it’s how I test my camera’s dynamic range, its how I set my exposure for skin tone, it is the technical foundation from which I can then draw my creative imagining and therefore it is incredibly meaningful to me. I chose Pantone 420C as it is on the paler end of the spectrum and offers a calming neutrality. When using the gray scale you are working on the basis that white skin tones are at 18% gray, which this color broadly matches. So my eye is naturally drawn to the tint and opaqueness of this tone.

PANTONE® Color identification is solely for Companyic purposes and not intended to be used for specification. PANTONE and the PANTONE Chip Design are trademarks of Pantone in the United States and/or in other countries and are used with the written permission of Pantone. © Pantone LLC, 2012. All rights reserved.