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Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Assignment3 Result

Take about four photographs each (16 altogether) that illustrate the following colour relationships:

4 Photos through Colour harmony through complementary colours - colours that face each other across the circle.

Red / Green

55mm f/11 1/125 sec ISO 100 

Although static in nature from the central position of the flowers in the frame I still think there is some movement created by the implied curves, created by the shape the flowers make. The photograph is balanced in the horizontal, with the larger part being closer to the centre of the frame. I feel that the red and green are in their ideal proportions; The green background implying nature and growth with that dense red bursting out of it; and although they are complementary colours there is a nice contrast between them.

The photograph was framed in camera and I only used Photoshop to boost the contrast.

I was a little disappointed with the printed version. Despite using a calibrated monitor the red has ‘bled’ out some of the detail, especially in the left side of the flower cluster.

To keep costs down I’m using a general online printing service; however in view of the quality of the colour in this particular photograph I need to research a bit more about colour profiles to ensure that the consistency from camera to screen to printer remains accurate.

Orange / Blue

250mm f/22 1/250 sec ISO 250mm

The movement from this windsock comes from the diagonal lines created by the shape. I was initially going to crop out the pole that the windsock is attached to, however by leaving it, I think it creates some context to what it is and direction is created from ‘knowing’ the wind is blowing the windsock. Overall I think the image is balanced horizontally, with the raised thinner end balanced against a lower wider end.

The tension between the orange and blue are close to the ideal 1:2 ratio with the cool blue against the orange adding to the intensity, brightness and energy of the orange which I feel adds to the sense of movement. The photograph was framed in camera (but took quite a few attempts to get the shot I wanted) and I only used Photoshop to boost the contrast.

Yellow / Violet

55mm f/5/6 1/125 sec ISO 100

This photograph feels off balance to me. I enjoy the more abstract images and although I really like this photograph for me, it may be too abstract for some. The ideal ratio of yellow to violet is 1:3 but this is more 2:3 and I feel that the darker violet implies more weight against the ‘lighter’ yellow. I think the placement and shape of the windows (predominantly blue) in the frame also adds to the imbalance.

Despite all that I still like it! I can’t quite express it in words though, the tension between the energetic yellow left and heavy right creates some movement and it makes me think of those optical illusion games that psychologists use i.e. “which one of the windows takes up more space?” type of question.

The photograph was framed in camera, however I did some minor cropping in an attempt to get the ratio as close as possible to the ideal and remove some distractions.

Red / Green2

50mm f/22 20 sec ISO 100

I feel that this version of Red and Green is an improvement over the other version; although not as close to the ideal colour ratios, there are implied circular lines creating motion and highlighting the organic nature of the subject. I think the lighting helped but it’s almost 3 dimensional rolling out of the frame. The slightly rougher textures in the more natural green against the smooth but energising red also makes me think of the very first ‘contrasts’ assignment

I don’t own a dedicated macro lens to take these sort of close up shots. Instead I used a 50mm prime lens and got hold of some cheap extension rings to enable me to focus at a much closer distance to the subject. As you can see I had to use a very long shutter speed of 20 seconds to get the correct exposure.

The photograph was framed in camera and I used a tripod and remote release to avoid camera shake during the exposure.

4 photos through colour harmony through similar colours - those near each other, as in a cool or warm range of colours

Blue / Violet

55mm f/5/6 1/125 sec ISO 100

This is probably one of my favourites in the assignment set. The square crop suited the subject and although static and balanced in nature, both from the cooler colour combination and the symmetry of the subject, is what makes it interesting for me. I feel that the straight horizontal and vertical lines creating the square around the widow and framed by the violet creates a solid structure. However the cool tones of the blue and violet create some mystery to the image with the eyes drawing into the window. I also I feel that there is a sense of space beyond the frame outwards; a sense of calm and thoughtfulness throughout.

As you would have noticed this is another shot of the same building that I used for the violet / yellow photograph. It was framed differently in camera from the previous shot and cropped. This is not a crop of the previous photograph.

Orange / Yellow

18mm f/11 2 sec ISO 100

Another symmetrical photograph of a fireplace, the simple horizontal and vertical lines create the shape and balance. Although again like the last photograph static in composition, I feel a slight upward motion for the eyes. I wanted to use the warmer side of the colour wheel to create a warm cosy feeling to the fireplace, however I think the yellow on each side of the photograph creates a sharp energy to the overall feeling, and in doing so, I feel takes away the cosy and warm feeling that the orange produces.

This is a cropped version of what I took in camera, removing the walls and floor that was in the foreground. I felt that the square crop suited the subject.

Yellow / Green

55mm f/8 1/125 sec ISO 100

Both these shots were taken at a local park and I couldn’t decide which of them to use as my submission and have included them both for consideration. The square cropped image is almost an accent with the majority of the frame filled with green. I felt that a triangle shape was formed with the open flowers and a tension is created between that shape and the small bud to the left. I think that where the light is reflecting off the green leaves creates a brighter feel to it, the idea of youth and spring comes through (as is the bright yellow bursting through the natural green).


100mm f/11 1/125 sec ISO 400

The second image I felt was more traditional flower shot, positioning the centre close to the rule of thirds and a more 1:1 ration between the yellow and green. For me, the movement comes as a circular in motion, sweeping around the flower with the petals making up a nice pattern and rhythm. I think the brightness of the yellow contrasted against the dark green gives attention to the subject and a feeling of freshness and harmony.

Green / Violet

50mm f/11 1.5 sec ISO 100

This photograph represents much more subtle and cooler colours with the light green and violet mixed in together as a sort of alternate pattern. I’ve gone for the abstract approach and taken a close up of a head of broccoli. The narrow depth of view and side lighting has helped create dimension and texture with the 3 water droplets adding interest. The almost yellow/green signifies nature, growth and freshness with the violet adding richness and flavour.

As previously mentioned, I don’t own a dedicated macro lens to take really close up shots. Instead I used a 50mm prime lens and got hold of some cheap extension rings to enable me to focus at a much closer distance to the subject. I also used a tripod for the longer exposure

Tutor Comments:

“For me at least, the most interesting image by far is the Green/Violet Broccoli head. You have obviously noticed this striking colour relationship, but more importantly ended up with quite an exciting image. You have indeed lit it well to ensure the texture is revealed too. This isn’t an obvious choice of image for this particular colour relationship, but you have noticed it and produced a really good image. In the words of Robert Adams; “successful art rediscovers beauty for us” [within the familiar, I think]. The effect of the water droplets is interesting in itself, but I’m not convinced it adds much to the rest of the image. Make some more use of those extension rings!”

4 photos through colour contrast through contrasting colours - Colours spaced about a third of the way around the circle

Green / Orange

55mm f/5.6 1/125 sec ISO 100

I like the combination of the warm inviting orange with the cool green. You should notice that the oranges are in fact artificial and I liked the idea of a contrast between nature and artificial. I find the movement through the photograph downwards but also circular around the artificial oranges creating a nice pattern

The photograph is a closer crop of a much wider view, but to emphasise the pattern I preferred the square crop.

Tutor Comments:

“The hanging plastic oranges are also quite interesting. I like that you look twice at it before you realize they are fake. The vivid saturated colour suits this subject very well.”

Blue / Yellow

55mm f/11 1/250 sec ISO 100

This is as much about lines as it is colour. The leading diagonal lines from left to right draw you along and into the frame, creating depth and perspective. The pattern created by the bright yellow contrasted with the cool blue makes me think of British summer – The rain has stopped but the sun is poking through and you have that dampness in the air.

The intermittent space between the yellow doors and blue huts also create a comfortable pattern and rhythm for the eye to follow and this is strengthened by the zigzag movement of the roofs. It also makes me think of a concertina being played and stretched open!

Green / Violet

96mm f/4.5 1/125 sec ISO 200

Although the green and violet are positioned more from the cooler side of the colour wheel they still have contrast. Compared to the Broccoli photograph where the green and violet are mixed more subtly; the solid shape and colour of the hat contrast strongly against the light green making it much more dominant in the frame.

The dominance of the hat is strengthened by its position (close to the rule of thirds and use of space) and structure of the subtle triangles and movement.

Red / Blue

20mm f/6.7 1/125 sec ISO 100

The dark red really dominates this photograph, strengthened by the upward motion of the triangle leading the eyes towards the apex of the building corner. The combination of the colour red and the structure forming the triangle gives the impression that it’s almost popping out of the photograph (further enhanced by the barrel/bugle effect from the wider angle of view) with the cool blue receding into the space behind

I chose a square crop to emphasise the bulging effect and remove some distractions on the sides.

Red / Yellow / Blue

250mm f/11 1/180 sec ISO 200

I included this extra photograph of this plane; I just loved the combination of contrasting colours along the fuselage and set against the blue sky, which really adds to the intensity of the red, orange, yellow and dark blues. I felt that the arrow / triangle shape leaves little doubt in my mind as to the direction and movement of the image. The size and position in the frame could possibly have been considered as an accent.

A tough shot to take and getting the exposure correct, so it has had a boost of the contrast levels in Photoshop just to darken the mid and shadow tones.

4 photos through colour accent using any of the above - A fourth kind of relationship is when one small area of colour sits against a much larger background of another colour as a spot or accent

Green / Yellow

250mm f/5.6 1/750 sec ISO 100

The movement of this accent follows the theory of a single point dominating the composition. The bright yellow contrast breaks the continuity of muted green waves drawing immediate attention to it. I get a sense of calm from the green waters with the yellow buoy alerting me to underlying dangers.

I’ve framed the shot in camera close to the rule of thirds to avoid the subject being overly static; it has not been cropped.

Green / Orange

60mm f/5.6 1/125 sec ISO 100

The deep orange flowers contrast against the dark green pattern created by the leaves around it. I positioned the flowers higher up the frame to draw the eyes up, but at the same time the flowers tipped with a tiny amount of violet appear to point back down towards the frame

Orange is associated with warmth and the green growth and I find this combination creating the feeling of a late summer evening as the sun is disappearing and the light has faded.

Blue / Red

250mm f/8 1/350 sec ISO 200

Similar to the other buoy photograph but this time further apart on the colour wheel with the contrasting red and blue; despite the cool watery blue the red triangle shape of the buoy adds dominance and heat over the yellow buoy photograph.

Blue / Yellow

250mm f/5.6 1/125 sec ISO 100

The cool and darkening blue (caused by lens vignette) has this bright yellow aeroplane bursting through it. The lightness of the yellow and the way the vignette has been created gives the impression that it’s the plane that’s the source of light glowing brightly. The position and use of empty space (along with the brightness) draws you to it immediately and the shape and implied lines create movement and direction.

Course Thoughts

This has been the hardest assignment so far. Even though I took a break from the studying during the summer, if you took that out of the equation this assignment has taken me the longest to complete.

I have found it difficult to separate the colour as another element of design; I’ve been conscious of creating a cross section of photographs from controlled and uncontrolled situations to stretch my observation but I still feel that I may have over simplified my examples in terms of their combinations. In my mind though, I feel that I understand more how colour and tone can affect the emotion that comes from a photograph and how some colours can dominate over others especially when combined with other design elements or in different combinations of colour

I feel that the difficulty of keeping to the assignment brief has caused me to overlook the subject matter that I chose for submission. This was also picked up by my tutor; Although there are some images I really like, as a set for the assignment there is perhaps a lack of interest in the subjects I’ve used – Flower shots (not my favourite type of photo’s anyway but easy to find strong colours) and repetition of subject matter (the colourful buildings around Camden market, aeroplanes and buoys) also play through a bit too much throughout the set.

In summary; the exercises and assignment have made me more aware of colour interaction but importantly how it works combined with all the other elements of a photograph.

Although I think technically I’m still improving, I would say that this probably not my best work so far as a theme and I know I can do better; I’m already so much more confident than I was starting back in January, but I feel a little disappointed with my efforts in this assignment. That said I think the challenge has done me good and kept me mindful of why I’m doing this  and my mind back on track to the art.

I’ve been to a few more exhibitions since the last assignment that I’ve written up in my learning log and will continue to attend others whenever I can. One exhibition that stuck in my mind at the Tate that showcased many photographers was called “Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance and the camera”; I thoroughly enjoyed it; however the only problem, was the long list of photographers that I want to research further!

Alongside the coursework I’ve developed some personal projects; including taking photographs at a wedding, a private party and some other events with a few more projects in the pipeline - all to try out new techniques, develop experience and apply what I’m learning in this course. I will be writing these up as the course progresses in my learning log.

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