Sunday, 14 January 2018

Colour harmony with gels

I recently went for beauty retouch tution from phenomenal photographer, Iulia David so have been keen to shoot more close-up beauty self-portraits in order to practice, as well as shooting other models of course!
Dogwood's theme this week has been:

WEEK 2Composition: Color HarmonyGet out your color wheel. Do opposites attract? Can there be harmony with opposite colors? Does the Hulk wear purple pants? Mix warm and cool colors.
First of all, I don't have any funny / interesting BTS photos or videos of this as I forgot to do any(!) but I used a simple small beauty dish with shower curtain diffuser and taped my red and turquoise gels to a boom arm stand in front of me.. took ages to get it the right shape to frame my eye. Obviously, the closer you take the photo, the more precise your placement has to be!
Ironically, I bought Jake Hicks' Coloured Gel Portraits & Retouching Photography Tuition back in December and haven't had the chance to look at it yet, so I will be expanding on use of gels throughout the year and can't wait to get stuck in!
Back to this shoot, I was sat on a stool and used my foot to press the remote shutter release on the floor. I whacked the aperture right up to F14 as there was no point in shooting any wider than that for beauty with no background on show and I wanted to ensure a sharp image.
Used my Nikon D300 with 85mm (so more like 120mm as cropped sensor) as the D800 has now died a slow drawn-out death and refuses to focus (I think a mirror replacement is needed and a few other bits)
I decided to use red and turquoise gels as I only have 3 gels total.. (the other is purple) and I found these to be the most opposing colours on the colour wheel; they definitely work in harmony with each other, clashing with pink lips & nails.
A minor problem I encountered was when the red overlapped the turquoise too much, it looked black so I tried to arrange them with as little overlapping as possible. The finished image was cropped slightly too, although not much as I know the D300 doesn't have a huge sensor unlike some of the newer DSLRs.
After I'd taken this, I read something quite interesting about what colour harmony actually means.

"A color harmony is three colors spaced evenly on the color wheel, for example: red, yellow, and blue. They add interest to a composition but are seen to harmonize.

Complementary colors on the other hand are opposites on the color wheel, for example: red and green. When you pair complementary colors you have high contrast, not harmony."

So basically that two colours do not make 'colour harmony,' only 3+ ..interesting and not something I'd considered before. I am actually after a bright yellow gel, something for which I went to SWPP in London in the first place but came out with a camera instead. I guess the skin could be considered in the colour palette, which is quite warm with yellow tones.
I like the way the red gel curls round at the bottom making a line of highlight.. your thoughts welcome as ever.

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