Category Archives: Assignment 3 – Colour

Assignment 3: ‘Colour’ Amended

Overall my tutors comments were positive and only offered a few ‘tweaks’ to the pics.

  •   The yellow colour accent works, although perhaps not totally successfully. As you note, the yellow flower is a little small. Perhaps in a large print it would stand out more, but I think it is more the fact that it is so overwhelmed b y the much larger plant coming out of the wall above it. The pink accent however is much more effective –it stands out and draws the eye straight to the flower.
  •   In a couple of the photographs you are looking up at widows. This works well in terms of the assignment but in terms of producing a successful photograph, you might get better results by moving back some way and using a longer lens. This will help to reduce the amount you obviously have to point the lens upwards, and so reduce the perspective distortion a bit. Ideally you would want to be on the same level as the window, but I realise this is a tricky proposition. The one with the blue window is also not straight (but I do like the little bits of greenery creeping into the top of the frame!)

For accent i’ve cropped the original shot to make the yellow flower much more prominent, it may still be slightly small, but I think it works well as an accent as the rest of the shot is fairly bland. It was far too lost in the original shot. It helps that it’s just off centre, as your eye is drawn to that area of the image almost straight away.

yellow accent


For the complimentary colour shot with the blue window i’ve rotated it slightly. I didn’t want to crop the foliage out as I like what it adds to the picture.

It’s still slightly off centre, and this was a problem with my positioning and obstacles in the way.

orange blue

I am very aware that several of my shots could have benefitted from using a telephoto lens (i’m yet to add to the collection) for example, as this would have significantly reduced the upwards angle that the shots have. It would have helped to reduce the distortion. However, I made the most out of the equipment I have, while also trying to get as high up as i physically could.



Assignment 3: Colour (TAoP)

For this assignment I am required to take 16 pictures in total that illustrate the following:

Colour harmony through complimentary colours                                                                            Colour harmony through similar colours                                                                                          Colour contrast through contrasting colours                                                                                     Colour accent using any of the above

Vary the subject matter, including both arrangements (such as still life) and found situations. In still life I will have the advantage of being able to choose objects and settings that have the exact colours I am looking for. Uncontrolled situations are rather more difficult. Make use of lighting conditions and filters, but not in every photograph.

Finally, include a sketch for each photograph to show the balance and movement.

I struggled with this assignment – i was constantly referring back to the assignment criteria to make sure i was working along the right lines. Colour is EVERYWHERE. I was seeing examples all over the place, and while this is not a bad thing at all, at times i felt slightly overwhelmed by my options and was concerned i may have strayed from the objectives.

However, after studying the vast number of photographs i had collected during a lovely sunny day out in London, i narrowed them down to the ones i feel reflect the assignment objectives including several still life’s required.

Complimentary colours:

blue orange

I was contemplating whether this image should be cropped to exclude the two boats at the top of the picture, drawing attention to the two main subjects. However, after looking at the cropped version it felt squashed/cramped and I prefer the image to include the water at the top left.

blue orange sketch

red:green wwindow

This image was fairly hard to get as the subject is situated on a main road and the traffic levels were extremely high. However after at least 10 attempts i got the image i was after. I really like that the two windows are on a black background as it makes them stand out. I also like the grey dividing pillar and that the shot is symmetrical. Had it not have been such a busy area i would have liked to have played around a bit more with different angles.

red-green window sketch

yellow violet

Although this shot includes the right colour pairing (yellow and violet) the ratio is the opposite to that proposed by J.W. Von Goethe – he proposed that the ration is 1:2 yellow to violet. That being said, I do not think that this picture feels unbalanced as a result of it. I like the yellow lines and the shadow of the railings that cannot be seen. As a whole it’s not the most interesting of pictures, but i was fairly adamant that i was not going to demonstrate this colour pairing using a flower. It was a restricted area so i couldn’t quite get the angle i was hoping for (I would have preferred to have included the whole bin, and moved the brown one out of shot).

yellow violet sketch

orange blue

Someone told me once that people very rarely ‘just look up’. We mainly look at our natural eye level, or down. With that in mind I spotted this perfect example of orange/blue. Again the angle was difficult to shoot as i was surrounded by tourists and garden furniture. I especially like the orange of the ceiling within the room and the orange glow of the ceiling light. This shot also has a strong feel of symmetry to it.

I have used the orange/blue ration twice as with complementary relationships there are 3 pairings, i have included images that did not quite make the final selection.

orange blue sketch


Contrasting Colours:

Blue Red

The assignment criteria specified that we had to include several still life shots. This has turned out to be one of my favourite shots. Having control of the lighting meant i could direct it mainly from the right – lighting the front of the blue and the side of the red at the same time. I took a few shots that included the full blue shoe in the crop but it had a slightly boring feel to it. I also like the fact that the red converse is a high top. It adds a sense of depth or ‘height’ than if i had used a low top red. I was tempted to experiment with both red converse with a blue back drop but felt it may have been a bit too much colour. The white background adds a sense of balance to colours that are deemed ‘unbalanced’.

Blue Red sketch

green violet bee

Having tried extremely hard to try and avoid including flower shots i took this one. I had used quite a few shots that used man made colours i.e paint related, so felt the need to add a natural one. I also must add that the bee landing on the flower was not planned unfortunately! This colour relationship is ‘contrasting’ yet i feel this picture has a sense of balance – perhaps because both colour is spread across the whole image. If the colours had been more grouped it may have looked unbalanced. If i had more time i would have liked to have found a less obvious natural shot using these two colours.

green violet bee sketch

orange & Green final

While this boat picture is fairly similar to the one previously seen (both subjects are boats) i am really happy with the different tones of orange captured. The middle boat is a much lighter shade than that of the more saturated buoy. One could say that the water could be classed as green, but i decided not to incorporate it as it includes the blue/white sky reflection and shadow of the green boat. I was toying with the idea of removing the white buoy in the post processing phase but decided on leaving it in. Had it have been one of the colours from the colour wheel i would have probably removed it.

orange & Green sketch


Similar Colours:

Orange yellow flower

I like the simplicity of this shot. The wall has many different shades of orange (It is part of a Japanese ruin in Gunnersbury Park) but i especially like the orange hue of the brick to the left of the first stem. I did not want to crop the green stems at the bottom of the image out as i like the picture in its entirety. It has a warm feeling to it – which would be expected using similar colours.

orange yellow sketch

pink blue

At first i was not sure whether this image would be in my final set as pink isn’t technically on the 6 part colour wheel, but if you expand the colour wheel to include more extensive hues you are left with a much larger range. (See below) I did not alter the colours in post processing as i did not feel it was necessary. In hindsight perhaps the blue could have been slightly lighter/softer to match the warmth of the pink.


pink blue sketch

blue green

I like this image but i’m not quite sure why! It may be the use of the barrel as a planter or the warmth of the blues and greens – not only the main subject but the foliage in the background, the green bench to the left of the image and the blue canopy/awning. I did not feel like it required any cropping or post processing – meaning technique and natural lighting had created a very pleasing example of warmth through similar colours.

blue green sketch

red warm

At first i was only really paying attention to the relationship between the pink and red. Again, debating whether to include this – but deciding that it suited as a perfect example of warmth as these hues fall exactly beside one another on the colour wheel. It was only after studying the 6 part colour wheel that i noticed the ‘bigger picture’


The shot includes blue and green as well, making up two 3rd’s of the colour wheel. This demonstrates great warmth, but made me question what the image would look like if yellow and/or orange were added? would it throw the colour relationships off? Or would it produce an aesthetically pleasing picture? I also considered that by having the 4 main colours next to one another on the wheel, it also contained an OPPOSITE colour pairing – red and green. In conclusion i do not think the pairing of red and green make it feel cold, less warm.

red warm sketch

yellow green

These leaves instantly caught my eye. I liked the idea of using a subject that was mid state change. I have slighlt cropped it as there were a few unsightly brown ish leaves that i did not want to include. I like that the background is a very dark green also.

yellow green sketch


Accents of colour:

yellow accent

I debated with this shot as i was not entirely sure that the yellow accent colour was noticeable enough – or that it may have been too small. The OCA handbook definition is ‘ a colour accent is a small area of colour that sits against a much larger background of another colour as a spot or accent’ with this in mind i felt it demonstrated accent well, and i really like the way the bush in the middle sits on the wall. It’s shape looks very unusual jutting out from the wall.

yellow accent sketch


This is one of my favourite pictures. I love the vibrancy of the colour, and that to the left is one of the shoots ‘in the making’ as it has not yet flowered. I am really happy with my chosen aperture as it provides just enough blur to the background making sure the shoot is perfectly in focus.

pink sketch

accent red

Again i found this by looking up while strolling through London. My eye was instantly drawn to the gorgeous red flower – thus making it the perfect shot for a colour accent. The building itself was gorgeous and covered in the pebble effect you can see around the window. Had i had more control over the location i would have liked to have tried getting slightly higher so the shot was slightly more level.

accent red sketch

accent blue

I’ve used the ‘rule of thirds’ here as i tend to avoid putting the subject directly in the the centre of a fairly bare shot. The marking on the wooden gate has come out really well in this photo, and i feel the blue works well with the greys and browns.

accent blue sketch



Overall I am very pleased with my final selection but i did find this assignment much  more difficult to get into than assignments 1 & 2. The subject theme for this assignment was very open ended, leaving substantial room for interpretation.

My tutor addressed an issue with softness/focusing in assignment 2 – something i was extremely conscious about while working on this assignment. I feel i have addressed this issue, and the photographs i have provided are much more focused.

I paid extreme attention to the composition of objects and angles. I wanted to be a bit more adventurous where possible, and use my positioning to strengthen the feel of the image.

I had studied the work of Steve McCurry previously and felt inspired by his use of colours in photography.

Now onto part 4:light – the section that i have been looking forward to the most.

Below are some images that did not make it into the final selection.

or bl violet yellow red green final crop orange blue 2 red green


Tutor Feedback:


Assignment 3 – Colour (preparation) TAoP

Having now completed all the exercises leading up to this assignment i am researching ‘colour in photography’ while thinking of subjects that aren’t necessarily so obvious, and looking at the criteria for the assignment.

It is advised that we try to find natural colour combinations i.e avoiding man made colours such as paint. This is proving to be quite the challenge – i have therefore been looking at many different flowers (with it being early June it is the perfect timing) but i would like to try to avoid all my assignment photographs being flowers.

A quick summary of what i have learnt about colour relationships in photography:

Complementary colours are any two colours which lie directly opposite each other on the colour wheel. Two such opposite colours can be regarded as being in balance when they appear together, and could also be regarded as contrasting colours. For example blue and orange.

Harmonizing colours are ones which can be found roughly a third way round the colour wheel,  i.e blue/yellow.

I have decided to simply explore London with my equipment to see what i can find, as well as composing several still life shots in order to meet the assignment assessment criteria. In regards to a narrative – this is fairly open ended as i am required to incorporate both found upon scenes as well as structured scenes. The theme being ‘colour’.

For the majority of the work i would like to use natural light where possible, and not alter the colours during post processing if it can be avoided (earlier exercises have taught me how hues can be altered using exposure settings – a technique i shall be applying) . For the still life shots i will have full control over lighting and object positioning.