Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Applying the Rule of Simultaneous Contrast to Coin Photography

“The Rule of Simultaneous Contrast” deals with one colors effect upon another. I have created a stitched photograph to illustrate the principle. I will keep things at the “101” level since we have not studied color theory together. However, we will need to know what warm and cool colors are to demonstrate my principle. Warm colors are those colors on the yellow and red side of the spectrum and cool colors are colors on the blue and green side of the spectrum. Warm colors advance and cool colors recede. I am teaching this rule to demonstrate why we should use cool colors for our negative space (background) as opposed to warm colors in our coin photography.

Please take a look at the photograph of the same coin on two different color formats. I think you will see right off the cool color is much more pleasing to the eye than the warm color. The cool color drops into space and remains “isolated” from the coin while the warm color advances and visually competes with the coin. Again, the warm color is visually disturbing. I could have demonstrated this more profoundly and have chosen a bright yellow for my warm color but I wanted to be a bit subtle. I think the gold is a color a naïve person could have chosen.

To demonstrate a bit further, please place your hand or a small piece of paper over the warm color and observe how well the coin and the blue work in harmony. Now place the hand or paper over the cool color and you see the coin and gold color clash to some degree. I think a neutral such as a light gray is a great “color” to use as negative space. I would like to see you put the principle of “The Rule of Simultaneous Contrast” into practice by photographing the same coin on different backgrounds.

I hope this exercise is beneficial to you and if you wish to see more please let me know.. Thank you for reading and God Bless.. Jerry..

No comments: