October Photo Challenge: Monochrome & Complimentary Colors

October 16, 2021  •  Leave a Comment




Hola amigos, 

Welcome to our first photo challenge of the season! This month we are going to explore working with color. The challenge is Monochrome. Most people think of monochrome as just black and white, but really black and white images are various shades of the same color; gray. So all black and white photographs are monochromes, but not all monochromes are black and white.  

NFPG_23NFPG_23 And while we would totally encourage you to experiment with shooting black and whites, I am more interested in how you can make this happen with color.
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First, choose a color or a favorite subject. Next determine what environments or other subjects are in the same tones, shades or tints of that color and compose them into one image. This can be a great way to break you out of a photographic rut or dip your shutter-fingers into something a little creative but not too challenging, and totally do-able from the comfort of your own home.












If you struggle with the assignment, choose a collection of white subjects and change your white balance to adjust the color of the overall image. 


An additional assignment if you wish, is to arrange complimentary colors. In Photography the primary colors are red, green and blue and the secondary colors are cyan, magenta and yellow. This makes the complimentary color combinations red and cyan (think light blue), green and magenta, and yellow and blue (royal blue).  complementary-colors-wheelcomplementary-colors-wheel Using complimentary colors helps add a color contrast to your image to make it more visually compelling. This is a great technique to use when shooting landscapes. There are so many natural opportunities with these combinations like a pink rose with green leaves or a yellow wheat field and blue sky.

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Try to find one large subject with a bold defined color and introduce a smaller subject in its complimentary color; a yellow building and a woman in a blue dress or a firetruck against a light blue sky. Think flowers, food photography or bold fashion images for inspiration. 

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Here is a reference for different color combinations and their terms. Complimentary colors are those opposite each other on the color wheel. 



Good luck and happy shooting! 




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