Graphics & Design: The nature and use of colour in design and photography

For this week, our graphics and design tutorial consisted of the nature and use of colour in design in photography. The idea behind this tutorial was to help us understand the importance of colour theory and how it is presented in photography, which is much like the nature it has in art. We looked in to the basics of colour theory and what is considered primary and secondary in a colour wheel, looking at the very first theoretical colour wheel by Goethe in 1810, and the effect that this had in the art world. We also discussed the science behind colour and how the human eye registers it, which is much like what Photoshop’s colour process is inspired by. As the tutorial progressed, we went further in to how digital colour theory is processed in colour models such as RGB (red, green, blue), CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and key aka black). This is perceived as the digital representation of the traditional theory of primary and secondary colours. We then were shown colour techniques that can be obtained in Photoshop to give a range of effects of colour the photographs we have been taking for another module.

I found this tutorial overall to be quite confusing. Although I understood the theory and the importance of colour theory in both art and photography (having already covered this in both GCSE Art of A-Level Photography), I found that the actual techniques that we were being shown to be very unclear, and for most of them I feel I did not achieve what was being asked of me for each task. I feel that the thing that I mostly have difficulty with in these tasks was the use of layers and using two at a time, as I have not used well very much in the past. As this is the case, below are only a few examples of what I learnt from this tutorial. I feel that I still have yet to master these techniques however I am sure that they will aid me greatly in the future once I can fully understand them.

 Original representation of primary and secondary colours: Shown in Goethe’s colour wheel from 1810.

Cross Processing Effect:

 In order to achieve cross processing, you must go in to the layers menu and select Curves…

 After this, you must select each colour from the menu  as I will show in my next three screen shots and adjust the levels to your liking. I have changed them only slightly as I don’t want my cross processing to look too obvious.

 For Reds…

 For Greens…

 And finally for Blues!

 Then, once you have all the levels to your liking, it is then just the simple matter of duplicating the layer. This will apply the same settings that you have already done to a new layer, thus making the final outcome darker and more defined. With this image, I am pleased with the outcome as I feel that it does not look too obvious and just simple enhances the colour intensity in the image. I also feel that it represents the intensity of digital colour theory and it is a matter of blending.

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