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4. Colour – Project 35, Colour relationships

Colours opposite each other on the colour Wheel appear “Balanced”. These six “complimentary combinations” vary greatly in hue, from dark Violet to light Yellow and to make a perfect balance between any two complimentary colours account must be taken of this relative brightness.
Red & Green are fairly equal, 1:1
Orange is, broadly, twice as bright as Blue, 1:2
Yellow is about three times brighter than Violet, 1:3
The first three images here illustrate this. The degree of red flowers is pretty much equal to the green bush, the grey stone background being neutral.
The orange indicator-lens has been cropped away to give a 1:2 ratio with the blue bodywork.
The amount of yellow flowers occupies approximately one quarter of the frame, the rest being of violet blooms.

The remaining images are all of various other colour combinations, not necessarily in any particular “relationship”.
The red water cannon on the yellow tugboat is a contrasting combination, they are about a third of the way round the colour wheel from each other, as is the red/blue of the “Barge” pub in Newark and also the red/yellow flowers at the Hengelo motorbike races. The Blue/Green combination in the corn, corn-flowers & sky image is a “similar” combination, they are adjacent colours on the wheel.
There is no “correct” way to do this with complimentary colours, only a “balanced” way. “Imbalance” within an image is often more interesting.


9th Aug 2009, 11:18   | tags:,,comments (0)

4. Colour - Project 34, Black & White and Grey as colours

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The neutrals (Black at one end of the extreme, White at the other with infinite shades of grey in between) have a special role.

Manipulation of Black & Whites & Greys in BW photography is a matter of tone. In colour photography has to do with their purity.

Two things are important: How to photograph neutral coloured objects so they appear absolutely neutral, and discriminating between the subtle colour varieties of Black, White & Grey. The difference between, for example, a cool Black and a warm Black.

This exposure test was carried out under daylight conditions (North-facing window ledge)
Three cards were used as subjects, one Black, one White, one Grey.
At f8, and in manual mode, the shutter speed was adjusted to obtain a “correct” exposure to begin the test with.

Note how for both the White card (left column) and the Black card (right column) the initial pictures are both a medium Grey tone, almost the same as each other. This is a clear example of how the camera’s light meter is attempting to “average” everything out to a middle Grey tone.

In the White test the next four images are each increased in exposure by half an f-stop until, at +2 stops until an (almost) pure White is achieved.

In the Black test the next four images were steadily under exposed by ½ f-stop increments up to -2 stops. This didn’t quite produce a pure Black and would need another couple of stops to achieve this.

The project material required me to look for hints of colour in the grades of Black & White. I could find none, this may be due to the purity of the cards or the fact that I’m shooting digital and not on film.

I also did this experiment another way.
Using the Grey card as a reference and adjusting the initial exposure to that I then substituted the Grey for the White card and took the first image using those settings. This produced an initial image that was near White (true to the shade of the White card in any case) though the meter was telling me that the image would be well over exposed. I then did the + ½ f-stop increases which produced a brighter & brighter white.

The same was done with the Black card, only decreasing the exposure by ½ f-stop increments which started with an initial black(ish) image which got steadily darker.

9th Aug 2009, 09:57   | tags:,,comments (0)

4. Colour – Project 33. Secondary colours

Secondary colours; Orange, Violet, Green, are each a mix of two primaries.

Orange is a mixture of Red & Yellow and sits between those two colours on the colour wheel.

Violet sits between Red & Blue.

Green is a mix of Blue & Yellow.

These images are, as with the previous project, examples of the three secondary colours, each accompanied by one image half a stop under exposed and one image half a stop over exposed.

In real life pure, simple colours are not that common, variations are, in nature, endless (look at the variety of greens there are out there).

The setting in which a colour finds itself is also very important for the graphic effect (Intense Yellow against a dark background has a very different impact than when it’s seen against a white background).
29th Jul 2009, 04:40   | tags:,,comments (3)

4.Colour – Project 32. Primary colours

The visible colour spectrum is made up of a combination of all the colours perceptible by the human eye. The three primary colours Red, Yellow, Blue are widely separated within this spectrum and most other colours can be made by combining them in the right proportions.

The secondary colours, Orange, Violet, Green, come next.

Here are nine images, three of red, three of yellow and three of blue subjects. Each (correctly exposed) image is accompanied by a version that is half a stop darker and half a stop lighter, this was achieved by using the Bracketing function on the D80, set to 0.5 f-stop increments.
29th Jul 2009, 04:37   | tags:,,comments (0)

4. Colour – Project 31, Analysing a colour

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Brilliance and saturation can be confused. Exposure will alter a colour’s brilliance while its purity remains the same (saturation).
Of the three colour qualities (hue, brilliance, saturation) during the shooting of an image Hue could be influenced with the use of (colour) filters in front of the lens.
Another way of influencing the Hue is by use of the manual white balance (WB) settings.
Saturation cannot be altered during the shoot, nor can brightness.
P31 is an extended project which requires making a library of colours. I’ll be adding the images as and when I find suitable candidates.
22nd Jul 2009, 18:25   | tags:,,comments (4)

4. Colour - Project 30, Colour control

The origins of photography are in black & white, this out of necessity rather than choice. Colour is a natural part of all we see and merits a section of its own. The likes of Steichen and Cartier-Bresson had a profound influence on photography as an art form and worked in Black & White, colour was simply not available to them.
Colour is a very powerful element of design, different from tones, points or lines, we sense it with a different mechanism in the eye. Colour can evoke emotional responses, it affects us in two ways; physiologically and psychologically. The theory underlying colour combinations is not based on good or bad taste but measurements of wavelength by the eye and the brain. At the same time we associate certain colours with certain conditions: Orange = warmth, Blue = cold, for instance.
Photographic primary colours (different to painter’s primaries) are the additive colours; Red, Green, Blue (RGB) or their opposite, the subtractive colours; Cyan, Magenta, Yellow (CMY).
Three qualities define a colour; the hue, its saturation and its brightness. It is essential to be able to recognise colours in these terms, to be able to describe the colour as “blue” (the hue), “intense” (its saturation) and “very bright” (its brightness).
In the practical application of colour theory the photographer is more concerned with choosing from what exists than, as with a painter, mixing or creating colour. It is important to be able to see what to include, exclude and combine within an image.
A fundamental technique giving control over colour is saturation. This project required a subject with a strong defining colour, green in this case. The sequence of pictures were taken with the “correct” exposure as a starting point (correct according to the camera’s light meter) this is the middle image of the five. Either side are two images each half a stop under or over exposed.
1/45th, f4.5 (one stop over exposed)
1/30th, f4.5 (half a stop over exposed)
1/60th, f4.5 (correctly exposed, according to the light meter)
1/90th, f4.5 (half a stop under exposed)
1/125th, f4.5 (one stop under exposed)
What I note is that, although the hue isn’t affected, the intensity or depth of the colour changes dramatically with the varying exposure. The over exposed examples are washed-out whereas the under exposed two seem deeper, richer. The version that is just half a stop under the recommended exposure is my favourite of the group, richer without becoming too dark.
22nd Jul 2009, 17:58   | tags:,,comments (0)

3. Elements of Design - Project 29, Applying the Elements of Design

This project is like a mini-assignment. The brief being to go to a specific location and capture ten images. Each of the images is an example of the following elements of design:

1. A single point, dominating the composition
2. 2 points
3. Several points in a deliberate shape (not depicted)
4. Combination of vertical & horizontal lines
5. Diagonals
6. Curves
7. Distinct shapes
8. Two kinds of implied triangles
9. Rhythm
10. Pattern
I visited the “Panoven” to give this project a theme. The Panoven is an old brick and roof-tile factory local to me in Zevenaar, Holland.
4th Jul 2009, 19:53   | tags:,,comments (1)

3. Elements of Design - Project 28, Rhythms & Patterns

Repetition in images has a strong appeal. Rather like the beat in music, visual repetition has a basic pleasure.
This repetition can be visualised in two ways; as rhythm and as patterns. The difference between the two is that rhythm has to do with the movement of the eye through a picture while pattern is essentially static and has more to do with area. More technically; one is dynamic and the other spatial.
Rhythm: Sequence
Pattern: No boundaries, frame-filling

The first three images here are of Rhythm, the last three are Pattern.
4th Jul 2009, 19:49   | tags:,,comments (0)