As a photographer I enjoy seeing differences in nature between different seasons of the year. These include direction of the sun, weather conditions, growth and above all – colours. Here are two photos that I took when driving along Idrijca river. One was taken in spring and the other in autumn. This scene clearly shows the differences in colour, so let’s examine this.
This first image above was taken in May, when nature is already lush green. It was raining heavily hence the muddy river. The dominant colour here is green. See the colour pallete below.
There are two groups of colours, green and orange/red. This is close to Compound colour harmony but not exactly. I tweaked colours just a little bit, to still look very natural. Greens are quite saturated but dark, oranges/reds are brighter and almost completely desaturated. The green is a dominant colour, but balanced.
In Autumn the colours are more diverse. There are different shades of green, yellow and red. This plays an important role in composition. Here I wanted to include as many different colours as there were. The colours are a bit muted so the house is the centre of the attention here.
The analogous colour harmony here stretches from greens via yellows to reds. These are spread out through entire image nicely so not a single colour stands out. These are all warm colours. Even Idrijca river is green (with a cooler, more bluish tone).
Same scene, different colours, composition and feel. Which photo do you like more?
In my photography I think about colour a lot. I think about it when I shoot and also in post processing. The images that have some potential, I always import in Adobe Colour Wheel tool to check how the colours relate to each other. This is super useful tool that can help improve your images and your understanding of colour theory. I highly recommend playing around with it.
What about your own photography? Do you think about colour theory when shooting/editing? What tools do you use and where have you learned about it?