Decoration Mid Century Modern Color Palette Paint Home Design Minimalist Color Palette
Decoration Mid Century Modern Color Palette Paint Home Design Minimalist Color Palette

Great Minimalist Color Palette

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what is up everybody it is Monday which means photo assignments photo assignments are these bi-weekly photo challenges that we are doing to improve our skills with creative thinking and overall abilities as photographers this week’s photo assignment is RED – using the idea of red as our photo assignment this week is definitely a conceptual thing to do but I want to talk a little bit about that in this video and I want to talk about color usage in photography particularly using a single color such as red as an accent and certainly humans have different emotional responses and different memories associated with colors and those are going to be played out both from the photographer’s standpoint in what you’re trying to create and in the viewers standpoint from how they react a certain color usage in photographs but I want to talk a little bit about this and what’s interesting is historically where we are today with photography is very different from where we were in the pre-digital world before digital cameras you would have black and white or color film so it was a very deliberate usage of either one in fact one of my favorite photographers Harry Gruyaert wonderful Belgian photographer and one of the things he has said in interviews before is that he approaches color and black-and-white photography very differently that way it affects composition and the way he says it is very poetic is that in color photography it’s almost like an enhanced sense it’s like the flavor of food it has a very sensual quality to it and I think it’s a really beautiful way of putting it and I think it is true that before digital we would definitely as photographers approach those two things very differently certain things work with color and composition that you would treat differently than when you’re just shooting black and white and today that is very backwards because in the digital era digital cameras shoot in color with the exception of maybe one Leica model that is a monochrome model but digital cameras shooting color and we think of what we’re going to do in post-production and we can really do anything in post-production we can generate a black and white image we can selectively replace colors in an image and that has different effects on it but I think it’s the mindset of assuming that we can always do something in post-production that affects and maybe even makes us lazy in the way we approach it and so I want to talk about a very deliberate usage today of color palette if you are not familiar with the concept of a color palette what it is – is within any visual composition whether it’s a photograph or a painting or even a three-dimensional work like a sculpture what colors are represented how do they relate to one another and how are they being used and this is really interesting it even derives its name from the flat surface that a painter would use to mix colors on before applying them to a canvas now photography is a little bit different and in some kinds of photography if you’re doing a still life or a studio type shot you do have a degree of control over what will be in the composition and how colors relate to one another and you can compose it as such however unlike painting and sculpture when you get into improvisational photography so mediums like street photography this becomes very difficult because you’re just improvising with what’s around you the way you would compose that I think why so many photographers have shot in black and white is it keeps that element of clutter away from it but what’s interesting is when you start to look at some really good examples of this whole improvised idea of photography and how that relates to color and we’re going to look at some examples in a second it gets really interesting it is clearly beyond the scope of this video to do a comprehensive overview of color theory but I did do a video on that a few years ago so if you are interested in learning more I will link up to that at the end of this video as well as in the show description before we look at images though I do want to talk about some basic concepts of color theory so you’ll know what it is that you’re looking at and what we’re talking about and so typically we use a color wheel to determine the relationships that colors have between one another what we’re seeing here is the color wheel in all of the gradients as the colors transition through one another – right now you’re seeing two selections on this color wheel the colors red and green and these are complete opposites on the color wheel colors that are opposite of one another are typically referred to as complementary colors now complementary colors have a very bold effect when they are used they are very high contrast they almost work in the same way that black and white do even though they’re in color if that makes sense but they’re usually used to have a very striking effect and we’ll see some images that actually use complementary colors in a second another interesting technique that you see more deliberately in composition that uses color – colors that are neighbors on the color wheel so for instance the relationship of blue and red and we’re talking about red today so looking at how those colors relate to one another it has a very cool maybe a darker quality to it it’s very different than another color combination that you see quite a bit which is red and orange or red and yellow now red and yellow has a very different effect it has a very dramatic high-energy effect it’s very warm in tone and it’s interesting when you start to look at color combinations and as I said before these color palettes in these images to see how they relate and why the photographer was looking for that specific combination I put together a group of images here that for me at least represent some of my favorite color photographers in the last 50 or 60 years and what I want you to see in here is how limiting your color palette not only provides a much stronger result in the end but when you do want to use an accent color like a red it brings a much stronger emphasis to that color I want to start with Ernst Haas who is I think seminal when it comes to color photography he started experimenting with Kodachrome when he came to the U. in the early 50’s – this is one of his more well-known images it has a high nostalgic feel to it a sense of memory associated with the road trip and you see only three colors being used here a lot of blues a lot of deep dark blues it’s nothing ever really goes to black but the bottom part of the image where you see the reflection of the sky it’s essentially blue you see the red on the motor inn vacancy sign and then it’s kind of a yellow light that’s behind that so it’s a very limited color palette but it really draws your eye in particularly to that Motel sign and I think it’s very effective and of course Haas was the master of accent colors and this is one of my favorite images which is a little red dot in the shadow of a building and so we’re up so close it almost appears abstract and upon further inspection you realize that is the top of a traffic light at the bottom of the picture and the shadow kind of points your eye in that direction the red is emphasized and the only other color other than the slight yellow light is a little stream of blue sky those on the right hand side of the image and so it’s highly effective another one is great just generally because there’s not a lot of color on the scene that’s being shot you have this huge pattern that’s essentially kind of a gray and white but the little red umbrella and I mentioned this over and over again when I’ve done composition episodes but if you can creatively put a point of emphasis near an edge it does draw attention to that point of emphasis so our eyes want to see things you know fall naturally at basically the mid point of the composition but if you have things that are closer to the edge they bring attention out that draws interest and I think that’s really important another great colorist was Saul Leiter and he was very much known for the street photography that he did and he loved things like reflections and raindrops and lights reflecting in windows and he created these wonderful abstracts now the interesting thing about Saul is you do see certain color palettes repeat in his work like you know the red umbrellas in the snow for instance but in the images that are a little more involved like this one which is abstract to a degree you see shapes of things but it is a color palette and is full of reds, yellows and maybe some dark blues there’s a little bit of green in there but the predominant colors that are here are the reds against those darker darker blues or purples and it has a very strong effect to it – you see it also here less abstract but with the red umbrella that pops out and brings emphasis another very famous image is this one that uses sub framing was shot between some boards but he left a color in on that and it creates almost a Mark Rothko effect with a scene in the middle and it’s quite wonderful other famous image – and this has a lot more going on but again a very highly restricted color palette and so we’re looking at really blues and reds in this case so no complementary colors nothing that’s too high contrast, they are neighboring colors and these are the palettes that Saul like to use now Saul was also a painter and so I have no doubt that this was something that he thought about and put a lot of emphasis on when shooting these street photographs I think they were certain color combinations he would look for and if they were to happen within a composition that’s at the point where you click the shutter and he was so wonderful at that another wonderful photographer is the magnum photographer the Belgian born Harry Gruyaert and Harry is amazing – he uses very similar color palettes to what we see in Saul’s work but in his own way and so again the blues and the reds a little bit of yellow in the 26 on the gate nember of the on the terminal here and and again with this photo which reminds me somewhat if the Saul picture was shooting between the boards but you have these colors that are framing in the rest of the composition of course being a magnum photographer he’s going to be way less abstract but his use of color was absolutely brilliant – this is a great one too of this seascape but being shot so you see the neon sign and then a little bit of green on the other sign but a very limited color palette now these are the cooler end of the spectrum with the blues and the greens that go with the red but if you look at this one which introduces yellow into the equation it has a very different feel to it and this one has much more energy it’s much warmer there’s heat coming from this it’s just a hotter feel to it because again limited color palette but rather than go with the blue side of things we move the color wheel to the next notch over and you’re combining red with yellow another photographer I want to look at who’s a little more controversial who does go very bold and uses a lot of complementary colors in his work is William Eggleston and with William Eggleston that is part of the point and his most famous image being the red ceiling which has a complete creepy feel to it – it’s very seedy why is the room and the ceiling painted red what’s with the tape and all the plugs going into the light and it seems almost dangerous in the sense but those are all the wonderful things even the lack of any thought to the composition apparently that are what make William Eggleston I think so amazing and he always goes for bold and always goes for a statement not only in the pose of this woman but she’s in a red dress and you’re seeing that with the complementary color of the green blinds next to her – the famous tricycle image also uses complementary colors so reds and greens I wonder if this image would have a very different feel if it were mapped to different colors which would be interesting again with the Christmas lights that are hanging on this column here reds and greens they’re complementary colors the chairs the side of the fence another one I think is great it’s more of an orange and green so we start to move away from that color palette it’s still very bold very strong makes a statement but the fruit in contrast to the sink and that’s William Eggleston that’s what he was going for which was something that was more shocking in your face and bold and there’s a look to it a more modern photographer who I think is quite interesting is Dan Winters who I haven’t talked about quite some time but he specializes in celebrity portrait work and he has a very fixed palette that he tends to use on a lot of his portraits so there’s a there’s a very uniform look to them and it’s almost like other than the slightly green backdrop that he goes out of his way to avoid other colors especially red if you look at pictures he’s done of women you know the lips are never a hard red lipstick it’s always more of an orange something more subdued and laid back and then when he does use red with the famous portrait is a Fred Rogers with his famous red sweater it has a really interesting impact and and even the accent color I’m the portrait he did of Heath Ledger with the red socks has a really great effect to it but I think it’s because you’re used to seeing with Dan Winters the avoidance of color usually another great photographer that I want to at least include on this – a huge influence on me and a lot of other people is Gregory Crewdson who is a well-known contemporary fine art photographer I have met Crewdson before and I did not talk about color with him because it wasn’t something I was thinking about the time but Crewdson is interesting because he does photographs that pivot somewhere between paintings and movie sets and it’s interesting that photography can be the linchpin between those two mediums in some ways and I think you see that in Crewdson’s work but what’s interesting is there’s always a narrative that’s going on these are high production images that he makes with enormous attention paid to details like lighting and color and what’s interesting is the way he uses red and red usually has a very specific purpose in this image which is one of my favorites an outdoor scene but its the color that building and it brings emphasis to it but more specifically you see it in the narrative you don’t know necessarily what the story is with this woman next to the car here looking on and there’s smoke in the background – were we just visited by aliens? How did we get here but her bag is red and you see red used as that point of emphasis quite a bit here’s another one where we have a spotlight coming from up above and you see red is an accent color in the background another interesting one with the couple lying watching television and she has… in this case he’s using red to tie together relationships in the room perhaps he’s sitting in a red chair she’s wearing a red skirt and so you could use a color like that and look how limited is and the attention to not using red anywhere else in the image and it’s very important I think in these the brake lights are all that you see redness and and it would change it a lot if you saw something different another one of his famous images is the woman and the boy at the dinner table and you see a lot of greens a lot of blues even some yellows and what’s red? The food and her sweater and so a very deliberate use of palette that Crewdson is giving us here but this is what I want you guys to pay attention to is what colors are being used I think it’s so… maybe it’s the natural thing for photographers to do just to start aiming and shooting the camera without thinking about how these color relationships play into one another and it’s not easy to do and then there’s a whole thing of photography that comes after all that that you’ve got to pay attention to but this is what separates some of the greatest images and makes them some of the greatest images I hope this is giving you a few ideas for our photo assignment this week which is red and I think it’s really important to understand relationships between colors and how they function in a color palette so that you can get the most emphasis out of using a color such as red for an accent color or maybe you want to use it very predominantly but how do those relationships work and what’s going to draw emphasis to what it is that you’re trying to do with that color now the way photo assignments work is I have done a video on the topic this week so next Monday I’m going to do a video featuring some of the best images submitted on social media if you would like to participate you want to use a hashtag on Instagram or Twitter and the hashtag is #photoassignments you can use the hashtag on facebook as well but maybe a better idea is go over to the Facebook page for the Art of Photography I will link that in the description and you will see an opportunity in there with a thread where you can post your images directly into that thread and I can pull them from there I’ve already seen a lot of really cool work submitted and I’m really excited about this so a lot of cool stuff coming up this week I have one item of business that I want to talk to you guys about – translations now I have had a few people contact me lately offering to translate the back catalogue of videos that I’ve done into other languages which is a very generous offer and a very daunting task that is a lot of work to this video I have probably 560 some odd videos that I’ve done before and that’s a lot of stuff and it can be a group effort YouTube has recently introduced a feature where you can contribute a translation if you would like you’ll see it below the player it’s on the website version there’s a little button with dots on and you click on for more and you can submit a translation I have had four people submit translations already there have been two into italian one into Portuguese and my Alexey Titarenko documentary was done into French the problem with the YouTube system is I can’t see who did the translations and this is a problem because I want to say thank you that is a really nice and generous thing to do I obviously take these videos very seriously and I think the whole idea of having them be in a format that people who are hearing impaired or non-english speakers can access is very important so if you are one of those people please hit me up on Twitter I would like to say thank you and I want to credit you in the show description – its the least I can do if you want to contribute a translation of a video that you like into another language I need to give you a little heads up on how YouTube works so all of the videos I’ve ever done have at least a machine translation applied to them and by machine translation I mean the google robot has gone through and tried to write what I’m saying it’s fairly accurate at times and at times it’s downright surreal and comical and so recently meaning this year I have made a commitment to at least offer an English transcription to every video so when you go to the closed caption button it is accurate and I have only done the last 30 or so videos I’ve gotten used to the little YouTube system of how it works in there and I can go through pretty quickly because it was me talking and if I did it within 24 hours of recording the video I can usually get it without having to spend too much time on it so really only videos that have been done this year have had that applied and you can tell which ones because they have a little closed caption signal on them and so that is one thing to bear in mind so you might not want to do a video that doesn’t have that but if there is a video that you are interested in again hit me up on Twitter and contact me because I’d love to work something out and I would love to thank you and express appreciation to those who have offered translations already I just can’t see who you are so anyway I will link up to the color theory video if you want to learn more about that and as always if you’ve enjoyed this video please remember to like it share it subscribe to the Art of Photography for more videos we’ll see you guys in the next one until then later .

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Gallery of Great Minimalist Color Palette