New Zealand D-Photo

COLOUR TECHNIQUES

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Analogous colours are different colours that have a dominant base colour — usually a primary or secondary — in common and therefore look appealing next to each other. On the colour wheel, these are the colours that sit next to each other. Think, for instance, of the way different blues and greens mingle in an ocean shot. Counter to the way it is used to stand in for black and white, ‘monochrome’ refers to anything using a single colour value. In our colour wheel, that means taking a single spot and using shades of that one colour. Think of an image of a hazy golden sunset, where there is one singular dominant orange colour; this can be thought of as using a monochrome colour scheme comprising shades of orange.

Now that the theory is out of the way, it’s time to put things into practice. Here are a few techniques to play with next time you’re getting out amongst the colour.

Dominant colour: Compose a scene with a clear dominant colour. Using one of the primary colours will make for the strongest pull, catching the viewer’s eye and holding it. This doesn’t necessaril­y mean shooting a monochrome colour scheme, where everything is a shade of your dominant colour; it just means one colour clearly dominates your image. Advancing colours: This is the collective name for the colours at the warmer end of the colour spectrum: reds, oranges, yellows. As these colours stand out, they make the subject appear as though it is coming towards you, or advancing.

Even when there is just a little splash of a dominant colour in a scene, you will see how completely it can dominate a shot. Receding colours: On the other side of the coin, you have receding colours at the cooler end: blues, greens, purples. These colours tend to sink into the background and create a sense of depth, or of the subject receding. They can be used particular­ly effectivel­y in landscape shots and are also useful for balancing other, stronger coloured elements of a scene. Colour isolation: Perhaps the most common example of colour isolation is the spot-colour technique, in which most of an image is black and white while one element remains in colour, or isolated by itself — a red rose against a black and white garden. Colour isolation need not be so extreme, however; it can be as simple as using a telephoto zoom to capture the colours of, say, a bright bird against an unfocused background of drab forest green and brown.

The subject of colour is an extremely deep and fascinatin­g one if you feel like studiously going down that rabbit hole. But, if you have these basics straight in your mind then you already have all the tools you need to get out and start creating some strong, vivid, arresting colour photograph­y.

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 ?? THE GREENS AND YELLOWS OF THE FRUIT MAKE AN ANALOGOUS COLOUR SCHEME ??
THE GREENS AND YELLOWS OF THE FRUIT MAKE AN ANALOGOUS COLOUR SCHEME

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