Julie Mak » Photography by Julie Mak

Photo 52 : Within the Frame / Color Theory – Monochromatic or Analogous Color Scheme

This week on Photo 52 we start our month-long study of color. An artist’s color wheel is the basic tool for combining colors to design pleasing color combinations.  The circle of colors starts with the primary colors of red, yellow and blue placed equidistant from each other and is bridged by secondary and tertiary colors. Secondary colors (green, orange, purple) are a combination of two primary colors. Tertiary colors (blue-green, yellow-orange, etc.) are a combination of a primary or secondary colors. Color theory is complex and includes the study of color and its affect on our mood and feelings. We are going to have a lot of fun playing with color this month! We begin this week by playing with analogous and monochrome color combinations.

Analogous colors are adjacent to each other on the color wheel. They are often found in nature and are harmonious and pleasing to the eye. Red-Orange-Yellow combinations are considered warm colors. They are often vivid and energetic and tend to advance in a photograph. Green-Blue-Violet combinations are cool colors and are considered peaceful and calming. Who hasn’t been soothed by looking at an ocean or forest scene?

Monochrome schemes consist of a single color or hue with variation in tint, tone and shade. We can alter the hue, saturation and luminance by adding black, white and gray to the single color. The color can also be neutralized by adding its complement to lower the intensity of the color. Monochrome schemes include all forms of black and white photography.

It is always a pleasant surprise when the swans come to visit our lake since they do not come every year.  For the past few weeks we have been so lucky to have two pairs of swans.  Watching their graceful movements has such a calming effect on me; I can watch them for hours.  For this week’s image, I slightly downplayed the blue in the water to create a more monochromatic look.

To view all of the images in this week’s dynamic gallery, please click here.

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