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TAOP: Part 3 – Colour: Project and Exercise – Colour relationships (Part One)

This section deals with the relationship between colours.  Colours on opposite sides of the colour circle appear to balance each other, so are called ‘complementary’.  In photographic terms, that means using two opposing colours achieves a sense of harmony.

Because the hues vary from dark (such as violet) to light (such as yellow) the best harmony is achieved by taking this in to account in the proportions of colour within an image.  German poet and playwright J.W. Von Goethe assigned values to the colours; yellow – 9, orange – 8, red and green – 6 (so equal) blue – 4 and violet – 3.  He suggested the following rations:

  • Red : Green – 1:1
  • Orange : Blue – 1:2
  • Yellow : Violet – 1:3

Exercise – Colour relationships – Part One

The exercise for this project is in two parts.  The first part is to produce three photographs – one for each set of complimentary colours – adjusting the distance, focal length or framing to compose the picture to the above proportions.  As the text suggested, it wasn’t easy finding the colours – so one shot I set up myself in order to complete this.  The pictures for this are below.

Red : Green – Plant and Pot

ISO200, 1/50s, f/8

Not he most interesting of shots, but it demonstrates the balance between red and green effectively.

 Orange : Blue – Crayons

ISO100, 1/200s, f/8

The brightness of the orange crayons stands out clearly against the blue background.  As luck would have it, Flickr highlighted a group ‘Orange and Blue‘ this week – and there are some great shots of this combination.  It’s often sky included and they seem to create a very summery-look thanks to the brightness of the orange.

 Yellow : Violet – Flowers

ISO400, 1/100s, f/8

I returned to the plant pots around the duck pond by my house for this shot.  I’ve had to cheat slightly and reduce the saturation of the green of the plants; there just wasn’t a good example of yellow and violet in the correct proportions without putting the yellow flowers in the background.  I’ll use one of the “out of proportion” shots in part two.  It’s definitely a pleasing combination, colour-wise, even if it wasn’t easy to get a subject where they combined more ‘cleanly’.

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