Colour harmonies

There is an interesting challenge for the Lens Artist Challenge  this week. 

Tina presents an overview of colour theory and how it can be used in photography.   I find that complementary colours  that are opposite each other on the colour wheel create really dynamic photos.

I took the photo below at  Alhambra in Spain.   The colours of the building harmonize perfectly with the colours of the plants and the water – they are side by side on the colour wheel.   The woman’s bright pink shirt adds a pop of colour and draw the eye into the photo.   It is on the opposite side of the wheel to the other colours.


While complementary colours can create dynamic photos, looking at colours that are adjacent to each other on the colour wheel feels more harmonic and peaceful.


Images with lots of blue in them tend to be the most visually harmonic of all.   The great colourist and abstract painter, Wassily Kandinsky published his ideas on colour theory in his short book “Concerning the Spiritual in Art” in 1911.    To Kandinsky blue was the most spiritual and uplifting of all the colours.   It’s interesting to learn that scientists have recently come to the same conclusion and decided what they call “blue space” is  harmonic and emotionally beneficial.  I wrote about it here

Kandinsky also considered green to be a colour that creates harmonious feelings of peace and abundance but he cautioned too much green could be depressing.  Walking in the bush I sometimes find really dark green places can be so oppressive it can be relief to catch glimpses of light filled spaces beyond the gloom.



21 thoughts on “Colour harmonies

    1. I’m a black wearer – it’s kind of a uniform in the cities of Victoria, Australia. I add colour with scarves, jackets and beads. – and yes, they are often blue or, my favourite, blue/green. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I know what you mean about dark green places … perhaps it’s the hominid hind-brain again telling us ‘there be dragons here’ that will eat the tiny little hominids if they catch ’em. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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