I don’t go out looking for pictures. I go out, and if something catches my eye, that’s reason enough to photograph it Henry Wessel
We are back to another exciting episode of “who said photography.” Today’s episode is “colour theory for photographers” Did you know that the actual colour wheel for fine art doesn’t quite fit for photographers and Photoshop. Yup! Believe it or not and we’re going to show you why. Today we are talking to Blake Rudis from F64 Academy and F64 Elite we will be discussing ‘colour theory for Photographers.’ First a little about Blake, he received his degree in printmaking then moved onto sculpturing somehow stumbling upon a camera back in 1999. So a big part of his colour theory studies comes from his printmaking/painting background, which transitions very well into photography.
Let’s start with why the fine art colour wheel doesn’t work in Photoshop.
One of the difference as Blake explains; the digital color wheel has different complimentary colours. In Fine art, the primary colours are Red Yellow and Blue Why? Because these are natural colors, cannot be made by mixing any other colors. In the digital world, we have what we call added and subtractive colours. Printed colours are ‘CMYK.’ What we see on the computer screen is RGB or red green and blue.
So how do you know that the digital colour wheel is different try this – Open Photoshop create a new layer fill the layer with red, press ctrl-I or command-I to invert it the opposite color what do get? Have you tried it yet? On the painter’s color wheel if you were to reverse the color red it would be what, Yes that it green. So we have to take the idea of the painter’s color wheel and not discredit it and leave it alone but just pushed off to the side for a little bit while you work on your digital images because we’re working with additive color and subtractive colors. Just be aware of this.
There is a significant advantage of knowing exactly what’s going to happen to the colours in Photoshop. For instant knowing what’s going on with curves when you select the individual colours can help with post processing. Blake and I go over this, and he has a great saying, “Levels is Levels, but Curves can be Levels or Curves.” What do we mean by this, well you will have to watch the show. This topic is so interesting to me and should be for you; I had to cut the interview into two parts, so stay tuned for part two of colour theory for photographers.
To reach Blake you can visit his site at F64 Academy or if you would like to join his group check out F64 Elite training better yet follow Blake on his youtube channel