Exercise; Colour Relationships

This exercise is in two parts; firstly to produce one photo for each combination of primary and secondary colours; secondly to produce three or four photos that feature colour combinations that appeal to me.

Part 1 Combination of each primary and secondary colour

Red: Green


In this case the colour combination of red and green is shown in Holly berries and leaves. Frost had just melted on them so they have a glossy look to them.

The proportions of red and green should be equal and I think that is roughly the case in this photo.

The red is particularly vibrant here whereas the Holly leaves are dark green.


Orange: Blue


Here the combination is provided by the blue of the sky and the clouds which have been turned orange by the setting sun.

The colour balance should be Orange:Blue 1:2

It is difficult to judge exactly, but I think I have achieved roughly the right balance in this image.

I tried to add interest to this photo by using the trees to provide a frame to surround the sky and clouds.



Yellow : Violet


In this instance the colour relationship of yellow:violet is shown i9n a close-up photo of a pansy using my 85mm macro lens.

The ideal proportions for this colour combination is Yellow:Violet 1:3

I think that I have come close to achieving this in the image with the yellow occupying about 1/3rd of the area.



Part 2 Colour combinations that appeal to me


The following images were all taken on a recent trip to Southwold where I was able to photograph the beach huts. There were many colour combinations there, the following appealed to me.


I like the red and yellow combination in the beach hut on the left and also of how this works with the green/blue hut on the right.

The red/yellow hut really does stand out against its neighbour and the colour dominates the scene. Somehow I think the yellow boards on the beach hut mitigate the dominant red and bring the scene into a bit more balance.

I also like the contrast in this picture of the bright new paint on the red hut on the left and the old, faded, peeling paint on its neighbour to the right.


DSC_4244This is a close-up of a beach hut window boarded up for the winter.

I like the green:yellow combination here. I would say the  green takes up over half the space of image. Perhaps there is more yellow in this photo than would be ideal, but I think that it works well. Perhaps the direction of the lines in the colours (vertical in the green, horizontal in the yellow) has an effect in helping the photo to seem balanced.




From a distance, a photograph with a number of different colour combinations.

I think it is the very mix of colours that make this an attractive image.

The yellow and the red huts particularly stand out, but the amount of space occupied by each of the colours is quite small and therefore none of them are overly dominant.


Something a little more different.

Img_0771This photo was taken at the Tacita Dean exhibition at Tate Modern in London.

The exhibition was a film, about 11 minutes long, projected on to a huge screen.

There were many colourful shots in the 11 minutes, but I particularly like this one. the two shades of blue, orange circle and green edges make a wonderful combination.

Sadly the little prints on here can’t do the colours justice compared to seeing them on a large screen.




DSC_2785Finally a green orange combination.

I noticed the lichen growing on a brick in the garden and thought the colours worked well together.

Perhaps the earthy colour of the brick and natural green of the lichen explain why these two colours appeal to me.





What have I learned from this exercise? This exercise has made me think a lot more about colour combinations, especially in found settings as opposed to still life arrangements. It was a challenge to go out and find particular combinations but i learned to see things ‘in colour’ i.e. just looking for the colours rather than the photograph as a whole.

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