I also needed to consider the ratio in which the colours appear in the images as was the case in Exercise 25 (Colour Relationships) where to maximise the harmony, especially between the complementary colours, it is vital to consider the relative brightness of each; red and green have the same brightness, so a ratio of 1:1 is appropriate, whereas orange is about twice as bright as blue and a ratio of 1:2 ‘works’ and finally yellow is three times as bright as violet, so a ratio of around 1:3 would be appropriate. Freeman (2007) shows a very helpful graphic (p121) which illustrates this point. These colour ratios were first suggested by the German poet Goethe who assigned values to the colours to describe the relationship which he believed showed that colours harmonise with one another the best advantage when their areas are in relative proportion to their relative brightness, although long before that the ancient Greeks had sought to ally colour harmony with musical harmony in terms of what went pleasingly with what.
I boiled this down to a checklist of required combinations to ensure that as I set about generating and finding the images for the assignment, I would have something to work to; it also acted as encouragement as although the concept of taking pictures of anything coloured seemed appealingly simple, I found this a struggle at times as the need to capture specific images proved difficult for some reason. I needed to produce around sixteen images, about four from each ‘category’ of the following colour relationships.
|1 Complementary : red/green|
|2 Complementary : red/green|
3 Complementary : Orange/blue. This is an image taken in Cape Town and shows some of the houses in the residential district. I feel that the orange of the house and the blue sky dominate the composition and draw the eye as the majority of the other colours in the scene have very muted and neutral tones. I found it a pleasant balance between the colours as they are in about the ‘right’ ratio of orange to blue 1:2 and they are separated by the pastel pinks and fawns of the other houses to give a visually pleasing balance.
|3 Complementary : orange/blue|
|4 Complementary : orange/blue|
5 Complementary : yellow/violet. I wanted to maintain a variety of different approaches to this assignment in terms of the type of images that I submitted and here went for a macro shot with this close up of part of a Gladiolus flower. This was shot with the Canon 5DMkII with the Sigma 150mm f/2.8 lens attached as opposed to the 24 -105mm f/4 zoom used for the other shots in this series. The 1:3 violet to yellow ratio, with the lesser amount of the brightest colour, produced a pleasant harmony between the two colours, and I felt that the way the yellow bled into the violet as it became more diffuse, added to the appeal of the image.
|5 Complementary : yellow/violet|
|6 Similar : yellow/orange|
7 Similar : orange/red. These also come from the warmer range of colours in the circle. The image I chose is of the performers in Covent Garden market in a superbly colourful jacket and making coloured balloon animals as well .. Five colours of the colour circle are brought together in this image (only yellow is missing) and I thought that the red and orange were especially prominent as the red occupied the centre of the image and the two areas of orange of the hat and balloon were placed roughly on ‘thirds’ of the frame. In one case the orange of the balloon and the red of the sleeve merge harmoniously in the direction the woman is looking whereas the orange of the hat is separated from the red sleeve by the contrasting violet and green parts of the costume.
|7 Similar : orange/red|
|8 Similar : green/blue|
9 Similar : yellow/orange. This sunflower provided a good example of the warm harmony achieved by the similar colours of orange and yellow when they are placed close together in an image. The yellow of the petals gradually blends into the orange as the centre of the flower is reached and continues into the developing seeds.
|9 Similar : yellow/orange|
|10 Contrasting : blue/red|
|11 Contrasting : red/yellow|
|12 Contrasting : orange/violet|
|13 Contrasting : orange/green|
|14 Colour accent : red|
|15 Colour accent : orange|
|16 Colour accent : red|