Thursday, 29 August 2013

Assignment 3 - Colour

Assignment 3 - Colour 

Whilst completing the exercises for this section on colour, I found that I was able to demonstrate the necessary colour relationships and produced the images to show this. However when it came to this assignment, it was a different matter. I found that I struggled to find appropriate images, trying to show a degree of artistic flair as well as incorporate the colours required. 

My first attempt at taking the necessary photographs didn’t quite turn out as expected and I was very disappointed with the results. This not only prolonged the time it has taken me to complete this assignment, it also knocked my confidence.  This manifested itself for a time in my mind as whether or not I had the ability to complete the course. 

I regrouped and went about taking the necessary photographs for this assignment. 

For this assignment I had to demonstrate my knowledge of colour in photography and be able to use different colours in deliberate relationships. 

Using the colour circle to identify complementary colours, colours that face each other across the circle. Similar colours, those near each other, as in cool or warm range of colours. Contrast, colours spaced around a third of the way around the circle, but not quite complementary, blue and red for example, and finally the fourth kind of relationship is when one small area of colour sits against a background of another colour as a spot or accent. I was asked to produce 4 photographs for each type of colour relationship, 16 in total.

Complementary Colours 

During the course of this section I learnt that Goethe had assigned values to the six colours in the wheel which resulted in the following ratio:
Red / Green 1:1
Orange / Blue 1:2
Yellow / Violet 1:3

Whilst walking around Paignton town centre one afternoon, camera in hand, I noticed some buses parked behind the wall of a park. The green ivy and paint on the wall and the red bus behind, demonstrate complementary colours. With the red and green having the same brightness with respect to Goethe’s theory of colours, the proportions are approximately the same.  While there are some orange to the left of the photograph, the red and green dominate the image.

The white arrows show the movement in the photograph, the red even though it is in proportion with the green, the eye is drawn to the top of the image before moving down, this has something to do with the writing on the back of the bus as well! 

Due to the 1: 1 spilt of the red and green the photograph is in balance.

This floral display was in a shop window in Portugal the linen curtains had been drawn over to protect the flowers from the strong sun. The violet and yellow again demonstrating complementary colours in the correct proportions.

The movement in this photograph is left to right, and the balance shows the great amount of violet in the image. 

Walking past a ship yard in Portugal I saw this old rusting fishing trawler.  As it was behind a high wall I climbed the wall in attempt to try and get a photograph. This was unsuccessful and only ended in me dropping my lens hood over the wall!. 
Luckily a friendly security guard on the gate let me through to retrieve it, and in the process I managed to get some close ups of the rusting hull demonstrating orange and blue. 

The eye is immediately drawn to the large rusty point in the photograph before radiating out to the the four corners.

Similar colours 

The same fishing boat in Portugal gave another opportunity to demonstrate similar colours, blue and green sit alongside each other on the colour wheel.

The blue paint underneath the peeling green paint is where the eye is immediately drawn to and then to the four corners, in same fashion as the previous photograph. 

Why someone would want to paint this shelter green and yellow is beyond me! But it gave me an opportunity to show yellow and green. 

Bearing in mind Goethe’s principles, the proportion of green in this photograph is greater to the brighter yellow.

The windows of the shelter create a focal point and therefore the movement of within the photograph moves down towards the seating area. 

These violet flowers where growing around the door of a cottage in Mortenhampstead.  I framed the photograph with the brighter red door in the background and the violet flower very much in the foreground. This was to compensate relative brightness of the red door against the darker flower. 

The movement in this photograph radiates in all directions away from the flowers petals.

Another version of green/yellow, this time a much more pleasing scene. 

The photograph is framed to give more green than yellow to compensate for the relative difference in the brightness of the two colours.

The eye is drawn to the yellow of the fruit then moves around the photograph in all directions. 

The blue and violet colours shown here were found on a beach hut on Paignton sea front. Why someone would paint their beach hut this colour is beyond me, but is gave me the opportunity to show these similar colours.  Being of similar brightness the proportions of the two colours shows a simple 50/50 split. 

The nature of the photograph, showing the peeling paint, means the eye scans the photo in all directions. 

Colour contrast through contrasting colours 

In the first of this series of photographs, are the canal boats at 
Stourport on Severn. The red and blue of the boats demonstrate contrasting colours, red and blue are on the lower part of the circle. The reflection in the water of the boats give an added depth of colour to the photograph, and give the necessary balance between the colours. 

Due to the main body of the boats is towards the top half of the photograph, the eye is drawn to that area before moving down towards the reflections in the water.

Orange and green as shown by the reflection of a shop window in Exeter. The Orange writing complements the green shop interior and the lady in the green dress walking behind the camera.  

The eye is immediately drawn to the the ‘Fat Face’ writing on the glass before moving down towards the green shop interior. The proportions in this image are slightly out of proportion, the green background should be more prevalent, to counter the brighter orange within the photograph. However that being said I really like this image the green background and lady in a green dress in the reflection make this well constructed image.

This hot air balloon came out of no where one still summer evening whilst I was out in my back garden,  the yellow and blue of the balloon, as it stated in the notes, this is a kind of combination that has a strong contrast, and you might even consider them to clash. Colours with this kind of relationship is not particularly harmonious, but it is certainly eye catching. 

The balloon was positioned to create movement into the frame, traveling from left to right. 

This structure was the main entrance to Vilamoura marina in Portugal and with orange being brighter than the violet. The colour proportions in this photograph are approximately 50/50. I framed it such a way as to have the violet building very much in the foreground to try and off set the brighter orange in order to balance the photograph with respect to goethe’s theory.

The eye is drawn to the orange control tower and down towards the lower violet building. 

These pallets neatly stacked outside a store demonstrate the contrasting colours of red and blue. Once again the photograph was taken to show more blue than the brighter red. 

The Eye in this photograph is drawn to the brighter red pallet before moving up and down to the darker blue pallets.


The predominately green background and a child's coat that appears to be forgotten is a an example of colour accent. The red colour of the coat stands out clearly from its setting. 

The accent colour of the child’s coat means the eye is drawn to this point before being drawn to the right of the image. 

This fire assemble point sign I saw on the wall of a hotel in Portugal, the wall being painted violet is certainly a striking colour, the green sign stands out against the colour and example of an accent colour. 

As with the previous photograph the eye is drawn to the sign before trying to scan over the rest of the photograph, with being a flat wall, not much else to see.

The yellow sign, warning motorists on Dartmoor of lambs in the road, yellow is not normally used for warning signs on the road. However this sign certainly draws the eye as you drive past, the text being too small to read as you pass is beside the point!

The accent colour of the sign is the focal point of this photograph, the eye then moves down towards the road, asking the viewer the question, what does the sign say? 


As stated at the beginning of this assignment, I've found this particularly challenging. However having completed the exercises and this assignment, I’ve learnt the just as Johannes Itten suggested that you can make colour the reason for and the subject of the photograph.

Also colour used in the correct proportions create balance within the photograph,  and as shown in some of the above photographs the colours can evoke reaction at an emotional, subjective level.