Technique Tuesday – Complimentary Colors: Blue & Orange

Color plays an important role in any visual art form. Along with composition, it’s one of the key elements of any great painting. Watch any film and the costumes, sets, and lighting are all designed with color in mind, meticulously planned by experts in various design specialties. Color photography is no different in situations where you can control your subject and environment, but there are complimentary colors to be found in nature as well.

Today we are looking at the color wheel with a focus on blue and orange. it’s one of the more prevalent colors found in nature, given the interaction of the sky and water in contrast to sunsets and the earthy oranges and browns of the natural world.

If you’re on a photo hunt and struggling to find a subject, consider the colors around you and how they might tell the story of a given location. Sunsets, rust, dirt, wood, leaves in the fall or the orange glow of firelight can all provide a starting point to shoot against a blue sky either directly or reflected in a local body of water. Finding splashes of color and ways to match them up against their compliment can be a fun challenge. If you’re shooting a subject such as  a model in a particular location, it can definitely pay off to scout ahead for backdrops and background elements of a certain consistent color and have them dress accordingly!



2 Responses to “Technique Tuesday – Complimentary Colors: Blue & Orange”

  1. E. Suanno says:

    Yes. As a former art student (former cuz I’m out of school for decades), I love to capture color play scenes that grab my eye, or create a color play myself. That’s one of the reasons I enjoy your work so much, and your extraordinary eye for composition. Your work generates such emotion. I find myself catching my breath often when viewing your images.
    Lovely slide show with this article. My fave shot is the lone flamingo in distance on beach. Sublime.

  2. E. Suanno says:

    P.S. – Having also studied Costume Design and Scenery Painting, the use of color and texture was a major point in lessons; since a play or film has a finite time length, one had to instantly convey the characters, mood, situation, etc.. A great example of this is the movie “Sleeping with the Enemy”. It opens showing the coldness of a bad marriage by use of a stark black and white, sterile, angular home, against the suffering wife’s later choice of a rental in a warm, cozy, textural cottage (her wardrobe changing too).

    I LOVE Color and enjoy shooting in all seasons, even winter casts hues against the snow.

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