25 Colour Relationships

The exercise was to take three photographs of the colour and ratios red:green 1:1, orange:blue 1:2 and yellow:violet 1:3. As these are perceived to be the most harmonious ratios of these complementary colours. A second set of 3-4 images were then to be taken of any colour / ratio, that appeal to me and showing there is no single ‘correctness’ to complementary colours.

Colours have a natural order in nature and those that we see in combination commonly are bound to be embedded in our preferences. This means that we accept some colour combinations more readily than others not that there are strict rules but personal preference and what we commonly see plays a big part in our acceptance.

Over recent days these images have been taken to answer this exercise. Equipment used Nikon DSLR, 105mm, Macro light, 28-300mm lenses and a tripod.

Colour relationship images to specific ratio

Red:Green 1:1


An apple and lime side by side creates a distinct Red:Green harmony.

Orange:Blue 1:2


These flags in the Melbourne CBD with the orange in the foreground combined with the blue in the background of both the flag and the sky create the 1:2 ratio requested.

Yellow:Violet 1:3


This macro image of a flower with the yellow splitting the image almost in half and giving the 1:3 ratio required.

Second set of of colour relationship images



A colour combination that exists in a whole number of scenarios, this was sky, ocean, sand but could easily have been sky, trees, daffodils or any number of other combinations. There are also the small line of predominately blues towels in a line on the beach that link to the blue sky above.



Having spent a lot of time with colour negatives and more sued to dealing with the primary/secondary colours of light. Primary Colours : Red, Green and Blue with Secondaries :Cyan, Magenta and Yellow. I find the harmony of the green/magenta relationship particularly appealing and the additional secondary contrast of the yellow a bonus.



Again these colours are complementary colours for lighting I find them pleasing, plus obviously appear naturally in the sky on sunny days. For this second part of the exercise I wanted to find real world examples and not just create still life compositions, which would of course have been much quicker, but not as rewarding…



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