Nikon D7000, Contrasting and Complementing

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We just saw that you can use color as a strong compositional tool. One of the most effective uses of color is to combine two complementary colors that make the eye move back and forth across the image (Figure 9.9). There is no exact combination that will work best, but consider using dark and light colors, or red and green or blue and yellow, to provide the strongest visual. Studying a color wheel or color theory can help you to strengthen your color images.

The contrasting colors complement each other and add balance to the scene. This photo was taken with two filters on the camera, and then processed as HDR to really increase the contrast. The blue sky and yellow grass are complementary because blue and yellow are across from one another on a color wheel.
Figure 9.9 The contrasting colors complement each other and add balance to the scene. This photo was taken with two filters on the camera, and then processed as HDR to really increase the contrast. The blue sky and yellow grass are complementary because blue and yellow are across from one another on a color wheel.

You can also introduce contrast through different geometric shapes that battle (in a good way) for the attention of the viewer. You can combine circles and triangles, ovals and rectangles, curvy and straight, hard and soft, dark and light, and so many more (Figure 9.10). You aren’t limited to just one contrasting element either. Combining more than one element of contrast will add even more interest. Look for these contrasting combinations whenever you are out shooting, and then use them to shake up your compositions.

 

This photo was taken in the Badlands of South Dakota on a June day. The angular lines of the red mountains play against the green, soft grass and the perfectly smooth blue sky to create contrast not only with color, but also with texture. A gradient filter was used to increase the saturation of the blue sky and help create the shadow below the mountain.
Figure 9.10 This photo was taken in the Badlands of South Dakota on a June day. The angular lines of the red mountains play against the green, soft grass and the perfectly smooth blue sky to create contrast not only with color, but also with texture. A gradient filter was used to increase the saturation of the blue sky and help create the shadow below the mountain.