Sunday, 9 October 2011

TAOP Part Three: Colour

Colour is easily taken for granted.  After all, for most of us, the world is seen in colour, in its many qualities, and we also react to colour in many different ways.  When I was introduced to photography by my parents, the films used were predominantly black-and-white and colour was reserved for "high days and holidays".  Indeed, the reproduction of colour, even to me as a child, seemed very poor, though this might have something to do with the camera used at the time - a Kodak Duaflex 2!  Certainly there seemed to be no objection to viewing the world in monochrome.  50 years on, monochrome is generally regarded as "arty" and colour is the norm.  We even accept that colour can be and is manipulated, particularly where advertising is concerned, or in almost any publication.

For many years we have accepted the way the world is reproduced by artists, whether as paintings or in print.  Here, artists have mixed colours, available as pigments, in order to produce on canvas their perception of how a scene looks in colour.

This part of TAOP addresses the basic properties of colour, learning how to control, alter and modify them in photography and to use them as an element of design.

The use of colour in design, and in particular the psychology of colour is something which is of particular interest to me and I shall be exploring that further in my learning blog.

In this section I have made use of a variety of reading matter, not least making use of that source of all knowledge - Google.  Its amazing how many articles and other works can be found by typing in "psychology of colour" as a search term!  Wikipedia has also made a contribution to my understanding.

To be honest, I almost had too much in the way of references, however these did stimulate my interest.  I was particularly interested in Pantone, and that they had been acquired in 2007 by X-Rite, who produce Colormunki, the monitor and printer calibration system.  I use Colormunki to calibrate both monitor and printer.

From the Pantone web site, I quote: "In 1963, Lawrence Herbert, Pantone's founder, created an innovative system of identifying, matching and communicating colors to solve the problems associated with producing accurate color matches in the graphic arts community. His insight that the spectrum is seen and interpreted differently by each individual led to the innovation of the PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM®, a book of standardized color in fan format."  The range and interpretation of colour by Pantone, is just incredible, but realistically beyond what I am trying to achieve here.

Delving into the Epson book is again outside the scope of this part of TAOP, more likely to be relevant in the Module "Digital Photographic Practice", however the book contains a lot of images which are great examples of use of design through form and colour and provide ideas and inspiration.

My references for this section include:
  • OCA TAOP course notes - Part three: Colour;
  • Basic Colour Theory - OCA Photography Course Supplement; 
  • Colour, Michael Freeman, ILEX, 2005;
  • The essential colour manual for photographers, Chris Rutter, Rotovision SA, 2006; 
  • Methuen Handbook of Colour, Eyre Methuen Ltd, 1981;
  • Colour, Marshall Editions Limited, 1983;
  • EPSON Complete Guide to Digital Printing, Rob Sheppard, Lark Books, 2008; 
  • Pantone,

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