With an eye made quiet by the power of harmony, and the deep power of joy, we see into the life of things.~William Wordsworth
This week for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #44, Tina has inspired us to explore the impact of color in photography. Like many of us, I think I know when a photo looks “right” and is pleasing to the eye, but in fact, color theory is a science.
It uses a wheel to represent all the colors we can see and divides them into warm tones and cool tones. Opposite colors in the wheel are complementary, harmonious. Color combinations that seem “off” or jarring to us most likely break these rules.
For my post this week, I selected photos with warm tones, cool tones, and a combination of complementary tones. I’d love to know which shots are harmonious to your eye and which ones aren’t.
Warm Color Harmony
I spotted these succulent plants on our trip to Australia. I love the delicious shades of red and pink.
These votive shrines appear on dozens of street corners in Florence. The warm earth tones of the stone and walls are very appealing to my eye.
Cool Color Harmony
Jumping now to the other side of the color wheel, here are some cool tones. These stunning Eryngos plants (Sea Holly) were a visual delight when I first saw them in Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver. I love how the bluish, purple and green tones create a sense of visual harmony.
Split Complementary Harmony
These next shots combine warm and cool tones. This first shot of a jade plant from the Royal Tasmanian Gardens has some cool colors–green, teal, and some warm–pink, red. These colors are opposite each other on the color wheel and seem complementary to me.
This shot along the Great Ocean Road is a mixture of warm and cool tones. The warm tones of the cliffs on the right contrast with the cool ocean and sky tones on the left.
My first foray into the science of color and harmony has given me a better sense of why some shots are visually pleasing and harmonious to the eye and why some are not. It also tells me how to improve my shots when I am processing them.
How about you? Do you prefer warm or cool tones or a combination of both? As for me, I like a combination from both sides of the color wheel. Come to think of it, that’s also true of the colors in my last apartment!
This brings me to my final point. What difference does harmony make in photography and in life? I’ll let these words from a very wise man speak for me:
He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe.~Marcus Aurelius
Thank you, Tina, for your inspiring theme this week, which has given me a chance to explore harmony. Next week, it’s my turn to post challenge #45. I hope you join us! I hope your week is filled with harmony and inspiration.