This is probably the only thing I learned about colours back in school, I remember painting the colour wheel on Drawing and Painting class, primary colours (red, yellow, blue) and secondary colours (green, violet, orange). In photography using colour film or DSLR and monitors are working with different primary colours (red, blue, green) known as RGB but printers are using CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black referred to key colour). But why is that? It took a while to wrap my head around it.
The concept of paint is that colour absorbs every colour except itself, so when colours are added together, the amount of colour is absorbed by the paint, the light is subtracted that the paint can reflect and it turns black when all colours are added togther because there is no light left to reflect, that is why RYB is also known as the subtractive colour scheme. However we see light differently, light travels in RGB referred to additive colour scheme because when lights are added together, the spectrum of the light is added what it can reflect back creating lighter colours and eventually turns to white when all lights are added.
First I found it hard to match the colours to the hue wheel, I deliberately chose objects that are natural to avoid creating a paint manufacturer’s catalogue as advised, except my red dress against a window since I couldn’t find anything else red around me other than cars or doors. Before this exercise I never really thought about controlling the colour because I can enhance them in post processing, however this gave me a guideline to follow when it comes to colouring an image to get realistic results.
Michael Freeman – The photographer’s eye