Saturday, 9 July 2011

Exercise - Colour Relationships 2

The other half of this exercise is to look at images which show appealing colour combinations and think about why they work and whether they are balanced or imbalanced.

Example 1.
Poppies. ISO 200, f/10, 272mm efl, 1/200 sec
This image uses 2 primary colours (red and blue), small touches of the third (yellow) and a secondary colour (green). The warm colour red is at the front and comes even further forward perceptually while the cold colour (blue) recedes. This is  gives great apparent depth to the picture. Although there is less red than either blue or green the intensity of the colour makes it stand out. It is not totally balanced but your eye is drawn to the poppies.

Example 2.
Iris. ISO100, f/4, 90mm efl, 1/800 sec
 Here the violet colour stands out against the yellow, partly because it is the foreground and partly because the yellow is a less saturated colour. This gives a reverse of the balanced effect of a small amount of yellow against a large amount of violet, however still gives a satisfying image.

Example 3.
Poppies by the Sea. ISO 100, f/5, 90mm efl,1/320 sec.
The colours here are the 3 secondary colours, orange,violet and green, backed by a relatively unsaturated blue. The actual amount of all the colours is fairly equal, but the poppies stand out because of the extreme saturation and and brightness of the orange. The image, however, remains slightly unbalanced and could possibly have done with more blue at the top.

Example 4.

Boat for Sale!  ISO250, f/9, 316mm efl, 1/200

A very simple combination of blue background (receding) and a vibrant red boat. This was a far distance out from the shore and the boat still caught the eye. The saturation of the red helps balance the larger amount of the blue.

Lessons learned.
  1. Red (and orange) even in fairly small amounts catch the eye and draw it to the object that id that colour.
  2. An even balance in the colours can be satisfying but doesn't always give an tension to the picture and is therefore less interesting.
  3. Many of the photographs I take do not have any 'pure' colours in them, they are often less saturated or blends.

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