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Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Colour relationships - Exercise

This exercise is in 2 parts in order to start exploring the relationships of colour in the frame. The first part is to produce a photograph for each of the primary and secondary colours in the correct proportions (or nearest to them). The second part is to produce 3 to 4 photographs in any colour combination that is appealing. 

I struggled to find the colour combinations for the first part of this exercise; trying to get the exact proportions of primary to secondary colour, as well as finding the examples in the first place. However I gave it my best go anyway! 

Red / Green 1:1

55mm f/4 1/125 sec ISO 100

Probably the easiest to find out of the Primary combinations; red and green I found a lot of this combination in nature as well as in the ‘manmade’ world, however to make myself work harder I tried to stick with nature or ‘found’ shots where I could.

The frame was composed in camera getting in close and using a 100mm focal length to maintain the 1 to 1 ratio as much as possible. The flower is fairly central and and relatively static however I felt that the contrast between the brighter red and darker green balances nicely.

Orange / Blue 1:2

44mm f/4/5 1/60 sec ISO 800

Not a very interesting photograph, subject wise however it posed an opportunity to get the colour combination for the exercise. Overall I don’t actually like the image, the ratio isn’t correct and it feels very off-balance. I considered cropping it further to correct the rations and although It is closer to the right ration it could be considered a bit too abstract.

Yellow / Violet 1:3

55mm f/13 1/125 sec ISO 100

I’m again not really happy with this image, it’s off-balance and although sometimes that creates a more dynamic image, it just doesn’t work this time. The problem I had was getting the focal length so that the ratios between the colours were close to their ideal proportions but keep the composition interesting; but even though the proportions are pretty close the image doesn’t work. in my mind.

The second part of the exercise was a little easier as there were no restrictions on the colours or the proportions

Yellow / Blue

18mm f/11 1/250 sec ISO 400

I love the contrasting blue and yellow in these beach huts. The alternating pattern of the blue then yellow doors creates a regular pattern drawing the eyes into the distance. This is also strengthened by the zigzag of the roofs and the diagonals lines that create the perspective, depth and rhythm. I guess the ratio is close to 1:2 Yellow to blue which is similar to the Orange/Blue ideal. Although not quite complimentary on the colour wheel I think the balance works very well.



50mm* f/22 2 sec ISO 100

The contrast between the dark green and bright yellow draws attention to the flower. placement in the frame adds to the interest and balances the image. However the flower disappearing top right from the frame ‘bleeds’ colour away from the subject and I find this a little distracting.


Orange / Green

50mm* f/22 2 sec ISO 100

I don’t own a macro lens (saving up still!) but I used a 50mm Prime with some macro extension rings to be able to focus a lot closer to the subject. In this case a pepper! I wanted to try something a bit more abstract. I personally really like the green orange combination and even though the composition is tight I fell there is still movement around the curves of the pepper.


Red / Orange / Green

50mm f/22 3 sec ISO 100

I used the same setup and natural lighting for the above 2 shots of the strawberry and the tomato. I wanted to show how light affected the colours. Where the light hits the subject creates an orange tone and in the shaded area the redder it becomes. I also wanted to include the red/green combination out of the ideal proportions.


250mm f/11 1/180 sec ISO 200

Something that struck me just before posting this entry was that I have tended to look for a contrast; I’ve looked for strong tone changes, for example yellow and green are from the same part of the colour circle however I chose a darker green against the bright yellow, all of the images in the exercise follow the same pattern ‘bright Vs. Dark’, creating that contrast. Not sure if this is a conscious thing or not as this exercise was about what ‘I’ liked in terms of colour combinations. I will see if the trend follows as I progress…


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