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We occasionally organize field trips, having made a couple to the airport to catch the full moon rising over the Charlotte skyline. Others include a gallery visit in Matthews, trip to the Whitewater Park, and Landsford Canal to see the spider lilies. We’ll plan other such trips, for location shooting or to exhibits. Where would you like to go?
If you know of someone who’s got an interest in photography, either doing it or learning more about it, feel free to invite them along.
For more information or to express interest contact John Bambach at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Most of us were introduced to a color wheel in school which consisted of primary colors (RED, BLUE, YELLOW) which were used to create all other colors. If you mixed RED and BLUE you got PURPLE, but there was nothing you could combine to make either RED or BLUE, hence, they were primary colors by definition.
Colors across each other are complementary. They tend to work well together. Think RED and GREEN and you think of Christmas. PURPLE and YELLOW are wonderful floral colors together. So it goes.
What was new to many of us was the idea that there are other primary colors when you’re talking about light (which photographers usually are).
Complementary colors for light would be:
RED with CYAN
BLUE with YELLOW
GREEN with MAGENTA
Complementary colors for paint would be:
RED with GREEN
BLUE with ORANGE
YELLOW with PURPLE
If you start with a white sheet of paper the PRIMARY COLORS for your printer are CYAN (light blue-green), MAGENTA (pinkish purple), and YELLOW. You print all other colors by mixing these, and BLACK, as needed. It costs about sixty dollars when you run out.
It’s called the SUBTRACTIVE model since you filter, or “subtract” from white to get the color you need. Where two primaries overlap you get secondary colors. If you overlap all three, full strength, you get BLACK (or nearly so, which is why printers also use black ink).
This model is referred to as CMY, initials for the primary colors. If you add black, it’s CMYK.
In the SUBTRACTIVE model, complementary colors (directly across from each other) are:
CYAN with RED
MAGENTA with GREEN
YELLOW with BLUE
Here, your PRIMARY COLORS are RED, GREEN and BLUE. On a TV or a computer monitor there are only these three colors – nothing else. Nothing. Every other color you see is a combination of RED, GREEN and/or BLUE pixels lighting up in whatever proportion is needed to mix the desired color. Your computer does this for you; when you look at a blue sky in your photos the computer turns on mostly BLUE and GREEN and may add a bit of RED. If your photo includes YELLOW the computer tells your monitor to mix GREEN and RED. Yup. GREEN and RED makes YELLOW on a monitor. All three colors, full strength, produce… uh… WHITE.
This model is referred to as RGB, for the primary colors.
With the ADDITIVE model, complementary colors are the same as, but the inverse of, those in the SUBTRACTIVE model:
RED and CYAN (primary and secondary reversed from SUBTRACTIVE color)
GREEN and MAGENTA (ditto)
BLUE and YELLOW (ditto)
In other words, the PRIMARIES in the SUBTRACTIVE model are the SECONDARIES in the
ADDITIVE model, and vice-versa. As a result, when we’re dealing with light, complementary colors are the same no matter the model.
So… choose any color model you want (color wheel, subtractive, additive) and show us a photo of something that is mostly made up of complementary colors.
HERE is a link with an alternate description. It’s fun to Google stuff like this, too.
With light, that would be:
RED and CYAN
BLUE and YELLOW
GREEN and MAGENTA
With paint, that would be:
RED and GREEN
BLUE and ORANGE
YELLOW and PURPLE
My usual suggestion on this is to shoot EVERYTHING in color, and then reduce that to monochrome if you like. For users of the free photo editor from Google, Picasa, it’s a simple matter once you chosen your photo:
Go to EFFECTS and apply one or more of the following:
B&W, or SEPIA, or B&W, then WARMIFY, then SATURATION
That last option lets you first convert your image to monochrome. Then using the WARMIFY effect lets you add a sepia-like color to it, but with a different look than just choosing SEPIA (compare for yourself). Then, adjusting SATURATION let’s you choose how strong or subtle your warm “toning” will be. For example…
B/W Warm Desat.
If you’re a user of Photoshop, or similar image editor, your options are even more varied. In addition to “toning” like that described above, you can also add effects similar to putting colored filters over your lens while shooting black and white film.
Choose your photo and choose Image > Adjustments > Black & White
Then play with the color sliders to see the effect of different “color filters” on your black & white “film.” For example, a “red filter” will make red things lighter and complementary colors darker. That’s why a red filter, on black and white film, makes clouds stand out — it doesn’t do a thing to the white clouds but it makes the blue sky darker, so the clouds stand out against the darker sky tones. Ask Ansel.
You’d do well to check the notes on Monitor Calibration, below, and adjust yours before all this so that what you see on your screen is a good indication of what others will see, also.
It’s something that nags at all of us, where we see one thing on the monitor and another on paper, or different results on different monitors. Which is right?
While there are complex standards for these things, basic adjustments that will get you well into the ballpark aren’t too difficult.
Click HERE to go to a site you can use to get your monitor calibrated for a full range of grey tones. This is especially important when we’re working in black and white, and is a prerequisite to good color on your screen. It’s a single chart you can use for reference. Read it carefully and follow instructions.
Click HERE for a site that will appeal to engineers, explaining the parts that most the rest of us don’t even want to know but that engineers will find essential. You know who you are.
If you liked that last one, you’ll really want to click HERE for a step-by-step on everything from gamma to white-point. Egad. (BTW, this page is offered by Adorama, who sells stuff, including monitor calibration systems.)
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