I'm often asked for tips on how to make great photographs, and how I create dynamic compositions.
To my mind, one of the most powerful tools in crafting a successful photograph is using complementary colors to draw the viewer into an image. Here are two good examples of that. Walking in our neighborhood last week, the fall color was really at peak. Everywhere I looked, there was beautiful red, orange, and yellow leaves both in the trees and on the ground. So how did I choose where to aim my camera?
Rather than do a photograph that only had those warm tones, I chose to make pictures where there was a complementary color scheme in play. In one, I used a green sprout growing out of a tree trunk to contrast with the primarily red leaves on the ground. Doing so makes both hues more impactful.
The same holds true for this photograph of the vibrant yellow leaves of this tree. Rather than focus in on the leaves, I made sure to include some blue sky in the upper right. Doing so made the yellow all the more powerful.
To make better photographs, there are lots of tools we can use. Keeping complementary colors in mind when composing a photograph is one of the most valuable.