Saturday, February 16, 2013

Rhythm and hues

click photo to enlarge
Of the three major pairings of complementary colours my favourite by a large margin is blue/orange.  Red/green I can appreciate with flowers, leaves and grass - in fact, we have red geraniums (pelargoniums) every year because of the big return you get from their petal colour next to their leaves. Purple/yellow, leaves me cold though; too garish by far. However, I enjoy that delicious blue/orange mix so much that sometimes I barely realise I'm using it, though usually it's a very deliberate choice. Examples in the blog include these trees and buildings, these flowers and their deliberately chosen background, this Euphorbia, ladybird and background, and these spring maple leaves against a blue sky.

What artists have realised down the centuries and what photographers learnt from artists is that some of the qualities of "pure" complementaries extend to "near" complementaries. If, for example, you put brown (rather than orange) next to blue the pairing offers attractive qualities that derive from the fact that, as a colour, brown is close to orange. I'm sure it's this that explains why my preferred combination for split toning is blue/sepia. I've tried other pairings such as cyan/green, magenta/orange and red/sepia, but have always gravitated towards my favoured colours (see this building interior and this sea-front promenade).

Perhaps similar reasoning can be adduced for my liking of the colour pairings in today's photograph. It shows tongues of rippled sandy Lincolnshire beach at low tide. I liked the repetitive rhythm of these small spits and I isolated sections of them with a long lens. The title of today's blog is a blatant steal and amendment of an off-licence I saw in Barton upon Humber, one of a chain apparently, called Rhythm and Booze, which is itself a play on the name of the style of music of almost that name.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 120mm
F No: f8
Shutter Speed: 1/250
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation:  -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On