Colour relationships

This has, without a doubt, been the toughest exercise so far.  The brief was firstly to take 3 photographs, one for each of the combinations of primary and secondary colours, adjusting the framing, focal length etc so that each picture was composed according to the recommended proportions of colour.  The toughest part wasn’t adjusting the proportions, in the majority of cases it was finding the colour combinations in the first place, or even finding the clear primary colour.  I found myself carrying the colour wheel around with me so that I could check how close the colours were in potential photographs.

Taking note of a comment made early on in this section of the materials, I decided that if at all possible, I would try to find pictures where the colours were occurring naturally and this proved no problem with red and green.  Blue and orange and violet and yellow proved more difficult though and in the end I set pictures up with those colours, though even now, I’m not sure that this has been entirely successful.

Red and green

Despite all the red and green combinations I came up with; peppers, roses, etc.  I have gone for this picture of a red littler bin against a bush.  This might be straight from a paint manufacturer’s catalogue, but it reminded me of a post box which is part of our daily lives.

Orange and blue

I  searched Flickr for examples of blue and orange and found that most pictures there consisted of orange flowers taken against a blue sky.  This wasn’t the right shade of blue for me so I decided to experiment and took this picture of orange xxxx in a blue vase.  This was set on a mirror and was taken out of doors so that the colours were reflected; a technique definitely I need to practice!!!

Violet and yellow

I have struggled with the violet and yellow and am not happy with this picture but need to move on.  What I would have liked is a violet flower with a yellow centre, maybe a crocus or iris, but we are in the wrong season for that, in fact one of the things that I have found is that the season of the year has a big impact on the natural colours available to photograph.  Another lesson learnt….

The second part of this exercise was to take three or four images featuring colour combinations which appeal to me.  Again, we’re not quite in the right season for this as my favourite colours are without a doubt, the natural colours of autumn.  Having said that, this activity had made me look at the colours around me and I have come up with the following:

  • Any colour combines with green, which is my favourite colour
  • I tend to like more muted ‘broken’ colours rather than the pure primary colours
  • The variation of each colour is enormous, green is the obvious one but by no means the only one
  • There are no colours that I don’t like

Violet and indigo

This is probably the nearest I got to violet and yellow but the second most dominant colour was a dark blue (indigo).  I liked the subtle tone here and the touch of yellow to lift the other colours.

Orange and blue/black

Experimenting with orange and blue, I decided that this one didn’t fit the bill because the blueberries are not blue enough.  However  I did like these two colours together.  This picture was taken with the fruit placed in a mirror and one of the things I found here was that I had to play around with the placement of the berries because the reflection distorted the image.  The thing I most need to improve on here is the lighting.  This was the result of trial and error, it was difficult to avoid unsightly shadows using only one flash light.

I said already that red and green were the easiest combinations to find but they are not always true reds, more often than not shades of pink and this is a combination that really does appeal to me.

Pink and green

I have taken several pictures that I would be happy to post here but this ‘Duchess of Albany’ clematis is my favourite.  I took a walk round the garden after a heavy shower of rain. I liked the shape and angle of these flowers as well as the colour.  My final choice here, given that the lovely autumn colours are not yet available to me is this blue hibiscus against a green background.  This was another shot taken after the rain and I felt that the raindrops really helped the flower to stand out.

Blue (mauve) and green
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About Anne Bryson

I live in Gloucestershire with my husband Iain and West Highland Terrier, Isla. I enjoy golf, photography and my grandchildren, not necessarily in that order! Having completed a 10 week digital photography course with the Open University in 2010, I decided I wanted to take my photography further and enrolled for the Open College of the Arts BA (Hons) starting with 'The Art of Photography' which I enjoyed so much that I went gone on to do Digital Photographic Practice and People and Place. In April 2016 I enrolled on my fourth OCA photography course, Documentary. This blog is my Learning Log for this course.
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