TAOP: Part 3 – Colour: Exercise – Primary and secondary colours – Red

The second exercise is part of the project ‘Building a library of colours’ and presents the painters colour circle based on the primaries of red, yellow and blue and their ‘complementary opposites’, green, violet and orange.

The aim is to match each of these colours as closely as possible by taking a few shots at slightly different exposures of subjects that match them and choosing which one is the best match.

The exercise says not to rush it, so as to avoid choosing only ‘man made’ colours; which means I couldn’t just nip down to B&Q and photography the paints in the paint aisle.  I expected to find it more difficult than I did to find colours, but I actually found things which I think match reasonably well within a short walk of my house.  Bonus!

I’m going to post each colour individually.  And I’m starting with red in this post.


So, despite not really being the season for colourful plants, red isn’t that difficult as there are plenty of red berries around-and-about (animals sensibly heading the warning the colour implies).

Closest Match

Shot on ISO100, 1/200s exposure and f/5.6 aperture (manual).  The berries were reflecting the sunlight due to their glossy surface, so there are areas where they tend to appear slightly orange or pink – but out of the three shots I felt this was the closest match across the image.

The Alternatives

There wasn’t really a great deal of difference at 1/2 a stop increments so I went for an entire stop in either direction for the other shots below.

The darker image below (f/8) is very close, but I felt was perhaps a bit too deep a red to match the colour circle.

The lighter image below (f/4) has more orange in it, as well as the red tending towards pink, so isn’t a close match at all.

Tomorrow I’ll post my ‘Blue’ pictures.


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