If you ever look at a color wheel, you’ll see orange is opposite blue.   I have lately been keeping the color wheel in mind, and using complementary colors in my still life photos to see what I like.  I used a very dark blue background, which nicely complements the bright orange against it.DSC_2417

The lighting is so important to this low-key style of photography.  Low-key, dark and moody photos require only one directional key light, and maybe the use of a simple reflector if needed.   Low key light accents the contours of an object by throwing areas into deep shadows, creating great contrast.  For this photo, I focused my one light directly on the “hero” of the photo, the front orange. The oranges in the back fell into even deeper shadow, so even the surface looked black in the upper left corner.

I chose oranges for this shot because they have such great texture, and when using only one side light, I knew the textures would really pop against the dark background.   By purposefully not using any props, and letting the complementary color of the orange stand out as the sole interest, I got a darker mood.    Darker, moodier shots can be associated with rustic settings, or the darker seasons of autumn and winter.  With the 18″ of snow from this weekend, I’d say I am in pretty solid winter.

Imagine a solid all-black background for more artistic drama, or all-white for a clean, summery feel.  Or one with orange slices all cut up and ready to eat, telling a different story.   I love trying trying all the styles, but maybe that 18″ of snow is really telling my brain to stick with the darker photo for now.  🙂

ISO 100, 1/50s, f/13, with 90mm lens.  Comments are most welcome; thanks for stopping by.


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