Exercise 3: Colour Relationships

Moving on from looking at individual colours and there appearance and qualities the next section of the course is about the colour relationships, be they complimentary or not. For the first part of the exercise I have to look at the primary colour and to photograph a selection of images combining these in specific ratios.

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

This meaning for every one part of the image that is orange for example, another 2 parts have to be blue. With the colours chosen it is clear to see that on the colour circle they are each the opposite for the other. Which gives them a harmonic effect of complimenting and balancing each other.

“Colours that are opposite each other on the colour circle appear to the eye to balance each other. They have a naturally harmonious relationship, and so are called ‘complementary” – The Art of Photography Course Guide

These images show the predetermined primary and secondary combinations of complimentary and harmonious colour in determined ratios. Each image took a fair bit of thought and consideration, not only in subject and the difficulty in finding the perfect and correct colours and ratio possibilities but also in the framing and photographing to ensure the correct colour cast and final image. Each is a very basic and where possible vibrant example, firstly red and green, this image was taken of two industrial bins next to one and other, the strong contrast works really well between the two while as mentioned the complimentary colours pull the whole image together. Secondly orange and blue, this very vibrant orange brickwork and mortar against the window shutters on a shopping center after hours gave an interesting colour and tone, the orange effect was achieved specially by taking the image later in the day, although this didn’t give a vibrant blue the natural low daylight gave a more orangey tinge. The final image of the violet and yellow was especially tricky to find, I therefore considered this use of still life photography, using a piece of yellow material on top of a predominantly violet mosaic, it gives the complimentary nature of the colours while also separating them on the texture.

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I have been on the look out for colour opportunities that I find pleasing, both artistically and personally, this first image in the slideshow shows an autumnal colour relationship of fallen brown leaves and the green grass, this image not only made by the colour relationship of the two that work well together both artistically but traditionally also in society as autumn colours but it also works in the compositional quality of half and half as a balanced image, the very straight line between the two natural occurrence is an interesting juxtaposition on the placement of the leaves which coupled with the colour relationship makes this an interesting photograph. The second image shows two of my personally favourite colours and two that I think work extremely well together, the contrast of the blue against the white is strong however still harmonious in the composition, they both, especially in this case of ice skating have the connotations of being cold. The next image shows a collection of hats at a christmas market, the very apparent colour scheme is perhaps based on there demographic of clients they focus on, lacking in the more popular brighter colours and focusing on a selection of natural colours. Lastly this abstract composition is a very vibrant and contrasting image depicting both white and yellow. With yellow being a very strong and the most bright of colours it has the ability of standing out in almost all colour relationships, while in this case against a simple white it not only stands out but also gives the white a clarity.

I found when looking at the colour relationships it was something that I thought would be rather tricky, especially the first part and it turned out to be however when looking through my own portfolios of images it was clear to see that I had already subconsciously been putting colours together in both complimentary and contrasting fashions. This in turn boosted my confidence in this exercise and personal views on colours and there relationships with other colours. In the same way that when looking at lines, curves and shapes in photography gave me a better ability in seeing them day to day within photography this exercise has taught me to consider the colours more and the effects each has on the other and overall composition, message and aesthetic qualities.

 

 

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