The Great Journey in Photography


Flamingo at San Diego Zoo

300mm f3.5 200iso 1/250sec.

When it comes to graphics design expertise I am not far beyond the “I know what I like” stage, and that is why I rely on a color wheel. Using the color wheel makes it easy to select complimentary colors in design and layout. Complimentary colors are a big important thing you see, they are traditionally the base of all color design. Colors that compliment each other create a visually pleasing often times, soothing appearance while contrasting or conflicting colors create a stark contrast and carries a certain “shock” factor grabbing your attention in a more uncomfortable way. Unlike many, I suppose, I see great value in both and maybe that is why I am not past the know what I like phase. It is very important though to know what complimentary colors are and for that matter, primary colors, RGB color and all that jazz.

Just like any other form of art bird photography requires a working knowledge of how complimentary colors work also. You really do need to design the photograph you are going to make. Beyond composition, or perhaps better said, part of composition is considering the color elements of the scene. For example, right now is springtime and foliage backgrounds are for the most part going to be green. If your goal is to creating a complimentary image you are going to want a subject whose colors compliment green. Off to the color wheel and we see that you are going to shoot a subject that has some red to pinkish colors. If your intended subject has other colors you may be better off trying to shoot against the blue sky or some body of water.
BTW-White birds work well everywhere.

Yeah I know what you are thinking, “I’m lucky to get what I get”, and that is true to a great extent. Reality is that most of the time exactly what and where we shoot is beyond our control but for that one in a thousand or one in ten thousand chance you want to have that extra little bit going for you and amazing as it is, the more you work at it the better your luck gets. Planning out your color schemes will give just a little edge to making better photographs and will help in a big way in determining when and where you are going to shoot


Using the color wheel is easy, just pick your color and then look at the color on the opposite side of the wheel and that is your complimentary color.

That’s it for today. As always thanks for stopping by and I hope this little nugget of truth and pretty picture help make your day just a little bit better.

Be Good….Ron


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