13 Jul 2010

Colour Relationships - part 1

The opposite colours on a colour wheel are considered to balance each other in a harmonious pairing so that they look pleasing to the eye.  However, because the quality of the hues vary so much the proportions of each colour in a balanced picture should also vary.  For example, whilst Red and Green are considered to be equal in hue and should be present in the ratio 1:1, Yellow and Violet should appear in the ratio 1:3 This is because a Yellow hue is considerably brighter and more dominant than Violet.  A balancing ratio for Orange and Blue is 1:2.  It was the German writer and polymath J W Goethe who first suggested that the hue of colours could be represented by numbers and therefore calculated the ideal ratios.  He made several reasoned conclusions about the relationships of colours which he published in his book The Theory of Colours.

This exercise asks for three photographs demonstrating the primary and secondary colours in pairs and in the correct ratio for balance.  Whilst it might appear at first glance that the proportions are a little skew, I have balanced those shades of colour that represent the correct hues and where light or exposure have changed the hues to a different shade I have ignored them in the calculation of the ratios.

Red and Green

Orange and Blue

Yellow and Violet

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