On Embracing The Color Wheel

By |2012-07-05T15:43:23+00:00Jul 5th, 2012|

…said the colorblind photographer. :)

It is one thing not being able to see some of the colors on a color wheel and an entirely different thing not to be aware of one at all. Color contrast is something that I try to pay very close attention to whenever I stylize my images. If everything in the image had the same color, or barely any variance of color, you’d get a very flat looking image.

By effectively using a color wheel as a guide for color contrast, you can help guide the viewer’s eyes to an intended target easily and with purpose. For this image here, I was very deliberate in playing off of two opposite colors on the color wheel, both of which I can see perfectly – Blue and Yellow. I made the majority of the corrugated metal wall blue and then added a major punch of yellow to the chair that was sitting in the gap by the parked train engine. I also added some brown to the engine and concrete ground. All of this helps give the eyes a place to go focus and rest as it explores.

It’s a wonderful practice to become disciplined with as it shows true methodology when you share your finalized images.

You can learn more about the color wheel here at Wikipedia:

In terms of processing
This is a seven exposure tone-mapped #HDR  image taken with my Canon 5D Mark III and Canon 17mm T/S lens. I created the 32-bit intermediary floating point TIFF in Photomatix and tone-mapped in Lightroom 4.1.

All stylization was accomplished in Perfect Effects 3 by +onOne Software. I applied Cyberpunk to all of the corrugated metal and masked it off of the train, chair and the ground. For the ground, I masked in Thermopylae to give it that nice brown tinge. Finally, for the chair itself, I masked in Havana.

Final touches were applied in Lightroom 4.1.

In album Pic Picks Over The Years (1 photo)

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  1. Nicole S. Young July 5, 2012 at 3:21 pm - Reply

    Beautiful! Love the colors in this, Brian :)

  2. Brian Bonham July 5, 2012 at 3:23 pm - Reply

    The placement of the red chair is brilliant!

  3. Brian Matiash July 5, 2012 at 3:23 pm - Reply

    +Brian Bonham I know righ….. wait a minute!

  4. Brian Bonham July 5, 2012 at 3:26 pm - Reply

    Really is a fantastic image.

  5. Mark Rivera July 5, 2012 at 3:28 pm - Reply

    Love these!

  6. Chrysta Rae July 5, 2012 at 3:40 pm - Reply

    Gorgeous!!! Save my seat!

  7. Brian Matiash July 5, 2012 at 3:40 pm - Reply

    +Chrysta Rae Best seat in the house!

  8. Chris Lazzery July 5, 2012 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    Dude this rules.

  9. Alexandre Cabrita July 5, 2012 at 3:48 pm - Reply
  10. Nate Parker July 5, 2012 at 3:51 pm - Reply

    Oh man this is sweet in so many ways! Your lesson is excellent- the image a perfect representation of the concept- and props to the uber bulbous 17 ts-e, I've got the 24 and love love love it. High five from Maine!

  11. Brian Matiash July 5, 2012 at 3:56 pm - Reply

    +Nate Parker hey dude! Thanks for that.

    Yeah man, that 17mm T/S lens freaks me out whenever I walk around with it. Terrified about scratching it. The 24 T/S is gorgeous, too. Sharp glass, indeed.

  12. Mandy Sloan July 5, 2012 at 3:57 pm - Reply

    I love this, +Brian Matiash!

  13. Nate Parker July 5, 2012 at 3:57 pm - Reply

    No lens hood either correct +Brian Matiash?

  14. Dianne Godwin July 5, 2012 at 3:58 pm - Reply

    Love this. The pop of a yellow chair is so unexpected. Well done.

  15. Dean Blowers July 5, 2012 at 4:01 pm - Reply

    Great image, I need to read more on the colour wheel. Great timing with the post as well, it was only 2 days ago I was thinking about this.

  16. Brian Matiash July 5, 2012 at 4:02 pm - Reply

    Thanks, +Mandy Sloan!

    Yeah, +Nate Parker – no lens hood or filter support for the 17mm. I wish the freaking 24mm T/S had a 77mm thread and not the 82mm thread.

  17. Nate Parker July 5, 2012 at 4:04 pm - Reply

    Well if you got the one manufactured in 1992 like I did then you wouldn't have that problem! I guess it's because of the larger image circle of the version ii. +Brian Matiash. :)

  18. Joe Azure July 5, 2012 at 4:05 pm - Reply

    just get an 82mm W/A adapter :)

  19. Brian Matiash July 5, 2012 at 4:06 pm - Reply

    Ahhh, yeah – I have the Mark II. I couldn't find a readily available used copy when I was in the market for one.

  20. Brian Matiash July 5, 2012 at 4:08 pm - Reply

    +Joe Azure ahhh dude, if I could find one in stock, I'd be all over it. +Nicole S. Young and I called stores in Portland, Seattle, Utah, Nebraska, New Hampshire and Philly (along with B&H and Adorama). None in stock. Glazers had the 82mm regular ring but not the W/A version.

  21. Joe Azure July 5, 2012 at 4:11 pm - Reply
  22. Brian Matiash July 5, 2012 at 4:15 pm - Reply

    You are a scholar and a gentleman, +Joe Azure. I don't care what +Amy Heiden says. ;)

  23. Amy Heiden July 5, 2012 at 4:19 pm - Reply

    Haha say whaaaaat? +Brian Matiash, stop hatin' just cuz your dino is still on my desk.

  24. Brian Matiash July 5, 2012 at 4:34 pm - Reply

    +Amy Heiden Gustav is being fed well?

  25. Joe Azure July 5, 2012 at 4:37 pm - Reply

    I wanna dino…

  26. Shelly Gunderson July 5, 2012 at 4:54 pm - Reply

    Nice image and as always, thanks for explaining how it was done.

  27. kimberly pemberton July 5, 2012 at 5:00 pm - Reply

    *lights up a cigarette and swivels around on the chair*

  28. Amy Heiden July 5, 2012 at 5:21 pm - Reply

    +Joe Azure I thought you were gonna bring your dino to Iceland. You got a dino before the project even started. Did you lose him already?

  29. Joe Azure July 5, 2012 at 5:22 pm - Reply

    He missed the bus to iceland :(  He isn't lost … just hiding in my office :)

  30. Amy Heiden July 5, 2012 at 5:23 pm - Reply

    Missed the bus, gah?

  31. Melody Migas July 5, 2012 at 5:24 pm - Reply

    Cool shot! I love Perfect Effects.

  32. Brian Matiash July 5, 2012 at 7:37 pm - Reply

    +kimberly pemberton I'd actually love to prep my tripod and camera to see what would happen if you lit a cig in that location. Let's make that happen, mmmkay?

  33. Dave Veffer July 6, 2012 at 5:15 am - Reply

    Very cool shot.  Would make a nice book cover.

  34. touqeer aslam July 6, 2012 at 6:48 am - Reply

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