Wednesday, 16 November 2011


Colour Relationships and Violet

The following 3 images show examples of colour combinations including violet.

In J.W. Von Goethe's theory of colour ratio's and brightness both blue and violet have relatively low values. Blue 4 and violet 3. They are also adjacent to each other in the colour wheel and are therefore similar colours. Blue is a cool colour but as violet sits next to both blue and red in the colour wheel it can add a warming effect to an image.

Colours are subjective and violet is one of the hardest colours to identify.

Image 1 - Ice Dancers
Similar Colours

ISO 400, shutter speed 1/30sec at f/5.6
The blue/violet colour combination is created by stage lighting in this image.

Image 2 - Blue Flowers
Similar Colours

ISO 100, shutter speed 1/125sec at f/5.7
This second image also demonstrates the similar colours of blue and violet but with a slighter higher proportion of blue creating a cooler effect. During the course of this Assignment I have come across the work of both Peter Turner and Ernst Haas and have experimented here with an interpretation of their blurred style.

Many of the images by both of these photographers use motion or blur to remove the fine detail from their images leaving only a suggestion of the subject and the intensity of the colours. E.g. in Pete Turner's - Taxi Central Park, 1957 image or Ernst Haas - Regatta, California 1957. In my own interpretation I have resisted removing too much detail, particularly as I am unsure how these would be accepted as part of the Assignment. However it is a project I would like to follow up on at a later date.

This is one of my favourite images for Assignment 3. I particularly like how the subject matter is the colours themselves and the striking relationship between the blue and violet.

Image 3 - Purple Cabbage Flower
Contrasting Colours

ISO 450, shutter speed 1/30sec at f/1.8
This is an example of contrasting colours in a green and violet combination. Both the violet and green are similar in that neither colour is shown in a pure hue. The violet errs towards magenta and the green towards yellow. In order for the image to balance according to the "rules" the proportion of violet should be twice that of the green. Proportionally I think this image demonstrates less green than it should to be "correct" according to the rules but it still makes a pleasing image demonstrating contrasting colours and is a good example of how the rules can be broken to effect.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Assignment 3 - second time round.

Colour Relationships
Having re-worked this Assignment I have now completed some of the required images. The first three here demonstrate the relationship between green and red. These two colours are complementary colours as they are opposite each other in the colour wheel. In order to produce a sense of harmony in an image the ratio of red must equal that of the green. Any more or less of either colour creates a colour accent.

Image 1 - Field of Poppies
Complementary Colour Combination

ISO 100, shutter speed 1/250sec at f/8

Despite the hues of the greens being relatively pale compared to that of the red, the combination here works well because the reds are scattered throughout the whole image.

Image 2 - Jelly Babies
Colour Accent

ISO 100, shutter speed 1/320sec  at f/9
The ratio of red to green is totally out of balance producing an image demonstrating colour accent.

Image 3 - Lost Trainer
Colour Accent

ISO 100, shutter speed 1/250sec at f/5.3
In lots of ways this image breaks the rules. The trainer is very nearly central in the image and so breaks the rule of thirds and proportionally the ratio of red to green is closer than you would expect for a colour accent.

In this instance the image shows a scene exactly as I found it in the street. I resisted the urge to tamper with the trainer and change the composition. I think the combination works as the red is scattered throughout the image and this carries your eye to various areas giving the impression of more red than there actually is, while the green demands attention creating the accent.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

A Thank You.

I'd like to say a big Thank You to my fellow students at the OCA who have provided support and encouragement recently whilst I have struggled for what feels like forever with Assignment 3. The good news is that it is progressing slowly. 

That's not all the good news either- earlier this month I received notification that my image "Winter Pavilion" has been accept for the Dingwall 2011 Exhibition. As this is the first time I have entered an image into an external competition I am chuffed to bits.

Winter Pavilion

Although I've never considered giving up the course I definitely needed to lay it aside for a couple of weeks to give my brain a rest. I don't recommend concentrating on the same topic for so long - it would seem I  have encountered the same problem as with Assignment 1 in being overly self critical. That's not to say I haven't been out taking photographs though.

Earlier this week I paid a visit to the Mcmanus Gallery in Dundee where there is currently an exhibition of photographs by Cecil Beaton. These are mainly black and white portraits of the Queen taken through the years. It's an interesting exhibition and I would recommend it especially to anyone studying portrait photography. I don't suppose you photograph the Queen without giving it some thought but I was amazed at the amount of work that went into hand painting the elaborate backdrops and time spent planning costumes in extraordinary detail.

Another reason for my visit is that the gallery itself has been refurbished and is a lovely mix of old and new architecture.

There are two spiral staircases in the building. The original has mosaic tiles, wrought iron rails and flagstone treads which are nicely illuminated and the new stairway looks like a steel and concrete structure. No prizes for guessing which I prefer..although both are beautiful in their own way.

Spiral Stairway - original
New  Stairway
At the corner of the new staircase there is an art installation which reminded me that I should be taking pictures for Assignment 3 - colour.

Artful Recycling
This artwork seems to be made up of waste disinfectant bottles - there was definitely some "toilet duck" in there. It's a very original and colourful use of materials.

It's just a pity it wasn't two tone -  then I could have used it for my Assignment!