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.

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

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  8. Very vivid colors, Tina. Really like the autumnal shot – looks like a painting 😊 So true colors and the scale of harmony can be linked to psychology, emotions and how we feel. I like blue and it’s a colour that makes me feel me when I wear something blue 😊

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      • I’m not sure that they are color blind exactly. I just think they see colors differently than we do. Their sight is very sharp compared to ours but they have trouble going from light to dark and dark to light. We evolved in caves and were always going in and out dark to light and horses evolved outside and did not evolve to be able to make quick changes. Not sure if that has anything to do with color and my ignorance cannot be blamed on horses 😄

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  14. Tina, beautiful images … the whole post is beautiful – I’m all for colors … my world can’t get enough of colors. My favorite is it the last images with the tree.

  15. Wonderful colors, Tina, no matter how bright or how muted. I love what you did to make the Impressionist-like “painting” in the second shot. What’s the bird in the first shot? Nature has so many amazing colors. I was in the park this morning, a very, very wet and still partially flooded park, but the wildflowers were shyly flying their beautiful flower flags. Soul food of the very best sort and absolutely no calories except for those feeding the pleasure center of my brain. 🙂 Have a marvelous weekend.

    janet

  16. This is a wonderful post! Besides that the images are stunning, the thoughts are ones that I think most of us have without thinking much about it. It’s good to put it into words, like you have. It makes me, at least, think more about it. I often find myself mentoring other photographers and touch on the subject of complimentary colors but it’s not something i bring up as often as I do, say angles, or the rule of thirds. This will really help. I’m eager to have this to think on this week! Thanks Tina.

    • Thanks so much Dawn – I agree most of us do it without thinking about it but sometimes giving it conscious thought helps us to remember its importance. Glad you can use this for mentoring – that makes me happy 🙂

  17. I truly agree with your take on ‘color harmony’ and ‘color psychology’, all these matters …

    I always felt, I need to learn more about these aspects and I hope a training session will help me with my photography as well.

    Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful post, Tina 🙂

  18. Oooh, challenging, Tina! I must see what I can come up with….but I think I can tend towards the garish rather than harmonious….we shall see!

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