Assignment three Colour

The assignment asks you to take sixteen images illustrating colour harmony both through complimentary and similar colours; colour contrast and colour accent.

I have to admit I struggled with this having done similar work (and also struggled) already for the preceding exercises.  I’m not sure whether it was a lack of creative spark, or whether I rebel against going down what to me are tightly defined roads or briefs, but I tried and failed to come up with an idea I was happy with.  There was the somewhat unimaginative ideas of going round the house, or on a walkabout down the high street, to pick up the necessary mixes of colour but I did not like, as previously, the randomness of this method as there was no thread or, for that matter, personal input.  There is some satisfaction in spotting the colour relationships around me but I wanted to have more than just a random set of photos like the earlier entry I made of the rejected shots.

I also thought about doing small extracts from the record covers I own but the brief indicates that you should try and vary the subject matter.  I looked at using a local cemetery I discovered and managed to get a few shots that as featured below (on the plus side, I can see this location as being great for some of the light shots!)

In the end I used a combination of all the above

A) Complimentary colours



Yellow and Violet I liked the way the single flower contrasts with the slightly out of focus mass of the larger flower head.


Complimentary 1









Scissors I liked the strong colours here and thought the curves were interesting.

Complimentary 2










I liked the strong red making a strong image out of a relatively mundane subject.

Complimentary 3




The pale green reinforces the red text.




B) Similar colours


The strong yellows are offset by the green buds which while also green still stand out from the green background

similar 1









The brightness of the ceramic blue ball stands out against the plain green


similar 2




Detail from album cover I haven’t done a simplified version of this but I liked how the green pattern is bought out by the yellow background.




There’s three adjacent colours here orange green and yellow. I like that the far yellow flower is an echo of the middle of the orange one and there is trail of yellow up to it




similar 4



C) Contrasting colours

The violet of the plant contrasts with the yellow and green of the grass and that, the small depth of field and the vertical shape makes it stand out in the shot.



contrasting 1




The use of yellow lettering on a red background seems to be a common background especially food shops and of course the post office its a very eye catching combination.

contrasting 2



I liked the fall of light on this, both accentuating and reflecting the yellow but darkening the blue.


contrasting 3






I find it interesting that this Fuschia contains two strongly contrasting colours. This makes it a highly visible flower to us, and I can only assume it the same for pollinators.


contrasting 4



D) Accented colours


The spot of yellow is emphasised, in my view, by being on the edge of the green strip.




accented 1




The complimentary yellow strip to the violet background accentuates the gap between the two sides on this record cover.


accented 2




My favourite shot out of all of the ones I took for this assignment. Its the reflection of folded up clothes in the gloss paint of a door and I like that the ere is only a hint of colour and that the viewer would not know where that colour is derived from.

accented 3







Red is obviously a strong standout colour and here more so against the plain brown of the other implements.

accented 4




I think this is my worst assignment to date and, for the reasons stated above, did not really enjoy it.  I think the main problem was that I struggled to input a personal voice into the both the exercises (with the exception maybe of the tablets and the medal ribbons) as well as the assignment.  As far as the assessment criteria are concerned I would make the following points:-

Demonstration of Technical and Visual Skills

Like the previous assignment I think there the use of different lenses and settings employed. There is a mix of external and internal shots and I think I’ve used the light in both effectively as well as using angles/composition to get the combination(s) I was looking for.

Quality of Outcome

While I think  I’ve taken shots that cover the brief of the assignment I would repeat that if I could have found an effective, and involving, thread to hang the images on I think it would have made for a more coherent, and better, assignment submission.  It was a source of frustration to me that I could not come up with an idea that inspired me like the Moore sculpture in the previous assignment.

Demonstration of Creativity

This is I think the weakest area in terms of the assignment.  I found myself lacking in this respect and conscious of employing some easier options.  As indicated above the only shot I am pleased with on an aesthetic level is the abstract shot of the colours reflected in the door.


I have not been reading specifically for this exercise but have been looking at various documentaries on the subject of colour as outlined in my learning log.   Its also fair to say that while I haven’t applied his technique of colour photography to my own I have enjoyed discovering Saul Leiter’s work and maybe this will have some impact on how I take shots (particularly in terms of street photography in the future.  Whats interesting to me is that on this course there have been a few photographers that I have found more interesting than other and, as a result, have been keen to know more about them.  Leiter is definitely in that category and I will be looking further.

I would also add that the exercises and assignment has made me a lot more aware of colour relationships – possibly not that difficult given my previous lack of knowledge on the subject – and it will be something I will be aware of, and hopefully incorporating a lot more, in my photography.




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