This week, before we got into an interesting discussion about last week’s reading, was about colour theory. I had not realised that the primary colours for photography were slightly different to that for painting  and different again for printing RGB v RBY v CMYK. Another surprise was the the mixture of the primary photographic colours would result in white…which would definitely not be the result with primary paint colours or primary print colours. Lessons 1 & 2 learnt. The learning curve was definitely on the rise.

There is a wealth of information on the internet – just google colour theory and see what comes up…. I particularly like these “reminder” posters. The second poster can be found at

see also



We moved onto secondary colours for photography – being CMY which are also complimentary colours when set against their opposite in the colour wheel.

Then things got really technical – James Clerk Maxwell and the three filters used on black and white film combined to create a colour photograph. The biggest surprise for me was the realisation that cameras only read the three primary colours (and of course when shades of grey too) – duh you say, that’s why the histogram is only in 3 colours Red, Green and Blue.

Just to compound matters Zig decided to get into colour depth…. yes people at that point my eyes started to glaze over … why you ask…? Because we started doing maths…. yes very simple multiplication, but it was maths, no getting away from it. Suffice to say what I did learn reinforced what I already knew – shoot your pictures in RAW format!!!!!

We looked at images by Nigel Tribbeck


© Nigel Tribbeck

and Minor White


© Minor White

The last part of class this week was a discussion about the articles we read  – an interview with Joel Meyerowitz and Robert Adams – Why People Photograph. The debate really got moving when discussing what makes you take a picture and whether you can recover the emotions from the time you took the picture. I was of the view that you could not and any emotion would be different because of the passage of time, different perspective – yes… I was in my element expressing my opinion 🙂

I have thought some more about the project after speaking to classmates about where  they are in terms of their ideas … I am definitely going down the route of social commentary and will post some updated research soon.

Assignment criteria 1