Assignment 3 – Colour

My brief for this assignment was to take about four photographs each (16 altogether) that illustrate the following colour relationships and demonstrate my command of colour in photography;

  • colour harmony through complementary colours
  • colour harmony through similar colours
  • colour contrast through contrasting colours
  • colour accent using any of the above

My thoughts on this assignment and my decision making process can be found herehere and here. All links to other research are contained within these pages. Exercises for the colour project can be found here.

Circular
The first set of images was also the set that took me longest primarily due to my reluctance to shoot a ‘set up’. As laid out in a previous post I took it upon myself to get out of my comfort zone and actually set something up in a studio format, albeit with natural lighting being modified by way of defusing and reflecting that light. I stumbled across a video on YouTube which gave me the idea for this set up. It involved dropping food colouring in to milk (full fat) and then dispersing by the action of dropping a detergent in to the mix and seeing what happened. So what I had was a situation where I was controlling the lighting and the initial colours. However, the outcome would be chaotic, a situation I was much happier with than having complete control over the outcome. In fact I could argue that I had less control over the outcome of these images than the others that appear in this assignment. This points further towards my ever increasing interest in shooting the chaotic in amongst the the orderly, much as I did in my previous assignment ‘Urban Decay‘ for TAoP. I made a series of shots at varying speeds and apertures and by trial and error arrived at the final images below. A simple graphic of my set up can be found here.

I deliberately overexposed the initial images with a view to being able to layer them in Photoshop afterwards. This gave me the ability to give some order to the chaos that ensued from the initial contact of detergent with colour with milk. I took a series of shots as the colours moved rapidly away from the detergent to form striking and very differing patterns on the milk’s surface.

Green Brown

Orange Blue

Orange Blue

Red Green

Red Green

Yellow Purple

Yellow Purple

Found Hanging
Back to my found photography. These were all found and the photographs made in public areas without moving or otherwise altering the situation. Some post production has been used to accentuate the colours but not change them. All these images were made vertically to stress the ‘hang’.

Hanging 1

Hanging 1

Hanging 2

Hanging 2

Hanging 3

Hanging 3

Hanging 4

Hanging 4

Photogrids
The end result of my photomontages ended up as below. I decide that I liked the punch of contrasting colours and unlike my examples in my research regarding David Hockney and Anthony Gerace, I wanted conflict rather than the muted colours that they use. So I have pushed the contrast and saturation in the final grids so each colour fights for attention. The purple and orange below is particularly striking and one would assume they wouldn’t be found in the same space. However, the two images making up the collage were found right next to each other in a street market during Diwali,the Hindu festival of light. These colours are fundamental to the festival yet to the casual observer they ‘clash’ quite badly especially with the saturation turned up to 11.

Orange Purple

Orange Purple

Green Orange

The green and orange vegetables were made with a wide angle lens to accentuate the attention seeking nature as they point out accusingly at the viewer.

Blue Yellow

Blue Yellow

One of the iconic HDB blocks in Rochor in Singapore will be torn down soon to make way for a new road. I have taken various photos of this area and wanted to use some of the fantastic colour they exude in this assignment.

Blue Red

Blue Red

The soft food against the hard office edges is possibly a sum up of what Singapore is all about in many ways. Where there is one there is always the other.

Natural accents

Against the hard edges of the city in which I spend most of my time, the countryside in the UK gave me an outlet to capture the naturally occurring accents of colour. I have been careful in this series not to push the colours in post production but to leave them as the photograph was made.

Accent 1

Accent 1

The warm purple foxgloves stand out against the relative coolness of blues and greens. The early morning light warms the whole scene.

Accent 2

Accent 2

The muted moors, heavy with cloud, embrace the ray of light as it briefly illuminates the heathers. Again the early morning provides opportunity but a contrasting outcome.

Accent 3

Accent 3

This time the muted colours of the river bed provide a neutral backdrop for the vivid contrast of the sky blue boat.

Accent 4

Accent 4

I was careful to make the most of the opportunity to use a slim depth of field here to give the dragonfly the green bokeh to contrast against.

Conclusion

With the delay in presenting this assignment it has been something of a struggle to keep focused on what I was trying to achieve. Overall I am happy with the results. The only area which changed radically from my initial intent was the still life. The reason for this was twofold. I was running out of time to present this assignment and my artistic abilities were not quite up to the talents of Fischli and Weiss. On the flip side it shows me how difficult it is to turn a pile of everyday paraphernalia in to something which I would be happy to present as an assignment piece. I do enjoy the results of the food colouring and milk experiment. I had doubts as to whether it would be striking enough but think it holds up well against the other images. Looking back at the images, around 50% are in bright garish hues and 50% are more muted. The implication for me is that colour doesn’t have to be ‘colourful’ to achieve impact. Indeed, accent 2, has many subtle hues running through it and the accent imparts the drama to the scene, albeit in muted tonality.

An image only PDF of this assignment can be opened and downloaded here.

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2 thoughts on “Assignment 3 – Colour

  1. Pingback: Softening the Light | BA Blog
  2. Pingback: Response to tutor – Assignment 4 | BA Blog

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