The stories behind the images

The stories behind the images
chairs, rome

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

colours of positano

The story behind the image:

It was late morning in Positano and I was down at Spiaggia Grande (the main beach) with my camera. Surrounded by bright orange and red lettini - beach beds - and umbrellas, with a clear blue sky above, I was in colour heaven for photographers!

Colour has messages and meanings most people would only subconsciously be aware of. As a photographer, I use the visual weight of colour to add impact in my images.
Remember the colour wheel from school art classes?

The colour wheel - in this case, my son's umbrella! - helps us understand two important concepts which we can use in photography:

1. Opposite colours on the colour wheel, also known as "complimentary colours", work very well together in compositions - for example, in the beach image, the orange and red of the lettini against the blue of the sky. (fyi, "analogous colours" also work well - these are the colours that are next to each other on the colour wheel.)

2. Some colours are advancing colours, some are receding. Reds and oranges are colours that advance - they appear closest and strongest in an image, they demand your attention. Blues and greens recede - they appear further away. Using colours in this way can add depth to our images. For example, in the beach image, the orange and red lettini immediately attract our attention and draw us in; then using diagonals and some greens, the interesting middleground takes our attention to the top of the cliffs; finally the blue of the sky draws our eye up into the distance to our final viewing resting point. The colours have provided a pathway through this image, and have created a distinct foreground, middleground and background.

Below are some more examples of complimentary colours.

Red and green:
Orange and blue:
Yellow and purple:

Below are some examples of analogous colours.

Reds, oranges, yellows and greens:

Reds, pinks, mauves, blues:

Photoshop post-production for positano image:
A layers level was applied to enhance contrast.

Equipment and settings used:
Camera - Canon EOS 5D
Settings - f14, 1/100s, ISO 100, auto white balance, neutral picture style, shot in RAW
Lens - Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8L USM LENS
Focal length: 40mm

Happy shooting, from Lisa and Dianne at Capture Italy.