Category Archives: Part 3

colour # 2 – single colours

For this exercise you are going to find scenes or parts of scenes that are each dominated by a single one of the primary and secondary colours. To produce images that match the six colours closely, you may find that you have to make a number of attempts. Don’t feel frustrated at the difficulty of making an exact match with each example – you will be refining your own ability to judge these colours.

AoP Coursebook

The open-endedness of this exercise – exemplified by the phrase “you may find that you have to make a number of attempts” – led me to wildly overshoot for this part of the course. The exercises here and the one on colour combinations merged into one long set of shoots that also began to overlap with getting the assignment done; one moment I’d see something RED and bracket it, the next I’d see something YELLOW set against VIOLET and bracket it too, then I’d see a contrasting colour highlight and take a candidate picture for the assignment. The next day I’d go to reshoot the bits that hadn’t come out as expected and then be distracted by something else.

Eventually, I realised I just had to stop and get the assignment finished as a priority. Now, at the end of the course, I’ve returned to try to make some sense of the stuff I got lost in nearly a year ago. Here are the most exemplary versions of each of the six colours. The way the colours behave as they are move from over to underexposure is described in a hugely subjective way in the text that goes alongside them. Continue reading

colour # 3 – colour relationships

 Part 1 – Primary & Secondary Colours

“Produce one photograph for each combination of primary and secondary colours, adjusting the distance, focal length or framing when you shoot so that you compose the picture to the proportions listed […] — or at least close to them” – TAoP Coursebook

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colour # 1 – control the strength of a colour

Find a strong, definite colour – a painted door for instance – and choose a viewpoint so that the colour fills the viewfinder frame. Find the average exposure setting […] Then take a sequence of pictures; all composed exactly the same, but differently exposed from bright to dark.

Arrange the […] images together . Apart from the obvious fact that the […] photographs vary from over-exposure to under-exposure, what other difference is there in terms of the colour?

– AOP Coursebook.

The photos that follow were all taken on a sunny afternoon in my back garden using my D50 with a 35mm 1:2 AF lens on it. They are of a Camden Council recycling tub that I’ve used as a laundry basket ever since I moved north of the river at the turn of the century. There are seven pictures rather than five, because it was only a few weeks ago that – playing with the various menus on my camera – I realised that I could set the increments by which exposure compensation worked at anything other than 1/3 of a stop. Further evidence if it was needed that you can never spend too much time playing with your camera…

All h-s-l values were calculated in Photoshop Elements 6 for Mac and were based on the centre of the embossed cross.

From looking at the the pictures, I can see that the lightness (brightness in Adobe-land) does indeed decrease quite dramatically as the sequence goes on; the saturation likewise increases and the colour temperature (hue) moves up from being closer to cyan to a much more obvious blue and end almost in the region of violet. The truest blues seem to be in the three pictures starting with the one shot at the meter reading and continuing into slight underexposure.

Likewise, doing the same thing with a red storage tub and a yellow council grit container showed similar results, although the red showed a slight drop off in saturation below an average exposure and yellow seemed most saturated either at average or slightly higher.

I’ll have a go with some pictures containing more than one colour, to see if I can emphasise a particular colour by choosing the correct level of under (or over) exposure while reducing the impact of the others.

(Postscript – I have also played with one of the standard exposure pictures and have found that  – providing the highlights or the shadows aren’t clipped – a raw image can be moved up and down the exposure range in Lightroom, creating the same colour effects to my eye as can be created in camera by altering the exposure; another thing to try while editing, I guess …).

in today’s guardian

The Guardian, 14/10/2014 (either Jerome Daly/AP or John Moore/Getty Images - the paper doesn't say)

The Guardian, 14/10/2014 (either Jerome Daly/AP or John Moore/Getty Images – the paper doesn’t say)

When I saw this on the front of today’s G2, against a black background rather than the white here, I thought this was a splendid photograph; 14 hours after I first looked at it, sat on the tube, somewhere between Blackhorse Road and Tottenham Hale, I still do. Continue reading