Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Colour into tones

Exercise: Colours into tones in black and white (4 Photographs)

For the last exercise of this section, I had to look at the effect colour filters have on black and white photograph processing.

When using film cameras with black and white film, strongly coloured filters can be used, for instance if a red filter was used when taking a photograph of a red rose against a blue background. The filter would allow the light from the rose petals to pass through, but block most of the blue light of the background. The result would be a very bright rose and a dark sky.

In the digital age applying the filters can be done in the post production phase, i.e. in photoshop. This has obvious advantages, you can take the original image in colour and turn it to black and white in photoshop and apply whatever filter you desire. This also gives greater control of the tones within the final image, of course this could have be done using film, but the digital image makes the whole process easier and more accessible.

In this exercise the task was to create a still life photograph utilising red, yellow, green and blue. Take one photograph, covert it to black and white and produce five versions of that image, one without a filter and the one each for the colours used in the photograph.

Image 1

Image 1 is a full colour version of the still life of several boring household items taken placed on a 18% grey card. 

Image 2

Image 2 has been converted to black and white with no filter applied 

Image 3

In image 3 a red filter has been applied and the red now appears lighter, along with the yellow,  the blue and green appear darker. 

Image 4

In image 4 a yellow filter has been applied, similarly to the red filter, the yellow top appears lighter along with the red, and the blue much darker. 

Image 5

In image 5 a green filter has been applied, as predicted the green spoon appears lighter, by blocking its corresponding colour red, this appears darker.

Image 6

Finally in image 6 a blue filter has been applied, allowing the blue light to pass, therefore making it appear lighter and blocking the yellow light making it appear darker. 

The results of this exercise clearly show that when the corresponding filter is applied to the image, it allows only light from that colour to pass through making the colour appear lighter than the others.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Colour Relationships Pt 2

Exercise: Colour Relationships Part 2

For the second part of this exercise I was asked to produce three to four images which feature colour combinations that appeal to me. It could be two colours or more and the objective was to show there is no single correctness to complementary colours.

Image 1

Image 1 was taken of the door of a beach hut on Paignton sea front, the orange and yellow sit next to each other on the colour circle, this gives a warm feeling. The padlock and its blue base is the focal point, a colour accent, as Michael Freemen states in his book 'The photographers eye' (p121) The colour relationships continue to apply, but with less force because of the size disparity in the areas. 

Image 2

The colours shown in image 2 stand out against the drab stone background, the yellow and green  is not a combination that appeals to me, the relative brightness of the yellow kayak against the orange one, gives the viewer a good perspective of the shape and lines of the kayak. 

Image 3

Image 3 was taken on a Sunny day at Westward Ho! the only thing that's missing from the photograph is a red spade, if I could have found one I could have had all the colours on the circle in one photograph, however the photograph shows that all the colours work together if the scene fits! I know what you're thinking, pity about the shadow cast on the orange spade! 

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Colour Relationships Pt 1

Exercise: Colour relationships (3 photographs for the first part, 3-4 for the second part)

The previous exercise was all about single colours, whereby this exercise is all about placing two or more colours together. The exercise is in two parts, the first is to produce one photograph for each combination of primary and secondary colours.

As stated in the course notes, colours that are opposite to each other on the colour circle appear to balance each other. They have a naturally harmonious relationship, and so are called complementary. 

Because the hues vary from dark to light you need to take into account the relative brightness. If you remember earlier in this blog I talked about the colour circle and Geothe's Theory of colours, Yellow, the lightest hue having a light value of 9 and violet having a value of 3. 

With this in mind the photographs would have to show the complimentary colours in the correct proportions.

  • Red : Green           1:1
  • Orange : Blue        1:2
  • Yellow : Violet      1:3
Red/Green 1:1

With red and green having the same brightness, the proportion of red and green in the picture above are approximately the same 

Orange/Blue 1:2

With orange being being twice as bright as blue the proportions of the colours were adjusted in the above photograph of a life ring at the beach by varying the focal length of the zoom lens to give the correct ratio.  

Yellow/Violet 1:3

Similarly with yellow being three times brighter than violet, the proportions in the above photograph were adjusted by cropping in post production to give the correct ratio.