Lens-Artists Challenge #44 – Harmony

“There is no true greatness in art or science without a sense of harmony.”

Albert Einstein

lilac-breasted roller

NATURE’S COLORS

One of the most helpful ways to improve our photography skills is to study some favorite images – both our own and those of others. Examining what draws us into an image helps us understand what is important to us and why.  For me, one aspect of that study is the artist’s approach to color harmony. Colors and their relationships to one another within an image can have a definite effect on viewer reactions – often subconscious, but there just the same. 

COMPLIMENTARY COLORS

“Art is a harmony of the spiritual being with the human being.”

Alan Maiccon

Back in the 1600s, Sir Isaac Newton discovered that when pure white light passes through a prism, it separates into all of the visible colors.  The 12 colors of his resulting wheel included primary colors red, blue and yellow, secondary colors orange, green and violet (made by combining 2 primary colors), and six tertiary colors.

THE COLOR WHEEL TODAY

Color harmony is achieved when a piece of art includes complimentary colors, typically two or three colors side-by-side on the wheel, two colors directly opposite each other on the wheel, or any color combination found in nature. It can also be used to incite different emotions in our art. Monochromatic or analogous colors (side-by-side on the wheel) create a more soothing feeling, while complementary colors (directly opposite each other on the wheel) can create drama. Allowing a single color to dominate, especially a primary color, can create a very powerful image.

CANDLES, LIGHT, YELLOW

THE POWER OF ONE

“He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe.”

Marcus Aurelius

Beyond color harmony, there is an entire field of study dedicated to color psychology – the belief that different colors drive specific emotional responses.  Interior designers and marketing companies use it extensively. If you google “color psychology”, you’ll see many exhaustive treatises on the subject.

PEACOCK

COOL-COLORED CRITTER

“Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions.” 

Pablo Picasso 

Of course there are several other types of harmony, for example, musical, spiritual and inter-personal harmonies are all commonly known and well-studied. This is your opportunity to share your favorite harmonies. Give us your best yoga pose, or your favorite musician at work, or perhaps a happy couple arm in arm – whatever floats your boat (especially if it’s on a warm yellow/orange sunset or a cool blue sunrise 😊). Whatever you choose, please link your post to this one.  Please note – we’ve had some issues with WP Pingbacks, so it’s more important than ever for you to use the Lens-Artists Tag to help us find you.

green tree, high golden grass, blue sky

COLOR COMPLIMENTS

“Though I am often in the depths of misery, there is still calmness, pure harmony and music inside me.”

Vincent Van Gogh

 

Last week Amy presented us with a wonderfully interesting challenge to illustrate the concept of Less is More.

HAVE YOU SEEN THESE ?

  • David showed us some true minimalism in his response here
  • Laura of Poetry Pix offered several examples of Less is More here

Hope you’ll join us next week for Challenge #45 on Patti’s Pilotfish blog.

 

 

Note: My image “Complimentary Colors” is a photograph of of a painting in Sfat, Israel. The original artist was S.Ilyayev.

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176 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #44 – Harmony

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  7. Beautiful photos, and great examples of color harmony ~ the candle shot is my favorite, but your opening shot had the most impact on me as I recognized the bird (Lilac-breasted roller) from my travels to Kenya so long ago. A great shot, great lighting. The wonderful colors of nature 🙂

    • Greetings Randall – thanks for stopping by! The roller shot is from our trip to Botswana (where they are the national bird)- are they not the most amazing creatures?! Always happy to see your name pop up my friend 🙂

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  9. My gosh! I love, love, love that image representing complementary colors. It’s just enough abstract and has such a “painterly” feel. If you haven’t yet hung this on a wall as a canvas print, all I can say is, What’s taking you?” >grin< Great topic. I'll be working today and tomorrow to have a response for my Thursday scheduled post!

    • Thanks very much John! Actually I loved it too, it’s actually a painting that I couldn’t afford so I shot a photo of it :-). Afraid I wouldn’t feel right printing it tho. I did give the artist credit at the end of my post. It was even more beautiful in person.

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  13. Van Gogh describes my post for this assignment, Tina. I must say I am color blind and uses my inner harmony in photography. What an excellent topic! Thank you, The peacock, oh my ….

    • 🙂 Pretty amazing that your photography has such a richness of color if you cannot really see it. My husband is also color blind. It’s a very foreign concept to me.

  14. Wonderful challenge Tina and I loved your taking us through colour harmony. We went on a cruise and your first painting (or one of that style) by Ilyayev was for sale. We came so close to buying it and seeing it again was a wonderful treat.

      • We did too. We had a choice of a print or the original – one didn’t live up to the original and the original was expensive enough that you would have to treat it as an investment and we didn’t have the means to research the artist. We regret it a bit now – particularly seeing it again on your site.

  15. I was always fascinated by color theory, Tina, and enjoyed learning about the color wheel in my college classes! Your photos are well, so colorful 🙂 There is something harmonious about seeing how color interacts in nature. Too bad our eyes only see a limited range of colors. I happened to notice your comment about pingback issues and I noticed that on my blog today. I’m glad people included them in the comments!

    • Thanks Terri – it was an interesting subject for exploration I think. As for the ping backs, I know they’re working on it and it’s not universal so not a major deal but good to put out a reminder.

      >

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