Create a colourful quadtych

HERE IN THE UK we're relatively reserved with our use of colour in public spaces, but in some parts of the world  particularly Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and southern Europe - vibrant colours are an important part of the cultural furniture. Fronts of buildings are dressed in soft pastels, brightly-coloured boats bob in turquoise seas, and markets are packed with fruits and spices of every imaginable hue.
 In this first project you're going to be using the rich colours you find at your location to create striking quadtychs, where four different shots are presented together for artistic effect. If you're travelling in theUK, you'll have a harder job, but to the creative eye, it's out there to be found.
 We usually t W hink of successful travel images as needing a definite focal point, such as a person or landmark, as this anchors the viewer's eye and gives the shot meaning. In this case though, we're going to use colour itself, rather than the subject, as the main point of interest.

Break the mould
To make this work you'll need to create a very abstract and minimal image that doesn't do anything to distract the viewer away from the aesthetic value of the colour. This might mean focusing on a particular section of an object, such as an interesting door or some fruit stacked in a box, and working hard to eliminate any unwanted clutter from the frame. You should also ensure there's just one colour in each shot, or else your quadtych will have much less impact.

Master colour
When shooting your four images, think carefully about which colours are likely to work well together, and which might clash. This is largely a matter of personal preference, although much has been written on colour theory, which explains how and why some colours complement each other and some don't. Before you go, check out Adobe's free Color CC at
 Select either Analogous or Compound from the Color Rule drop-down box and start experimenting. Putting this groundwork in before you travel will undoubtedly help you to get better results when you're there.  


Above Adobe's Color CC is a website that all photographers should be familiar with, and it's completely free to use.

Expert advice Stitch your images together in Photoshop

1 Open your images

Open all four shots. Select the image you want top left in your quadtych and go to Image>Canvas Size. Click in the top left anchor, then in New Size type the exact Width and Height shown in Current Size, plus add 1cm extra to both. Check the Relative box and set Canvas Extension Color to White. Click OK.

2 Build your quadtych

Bring up the image you want to place top right, and press Ctrl+A, then Ctrl+C to copy. Go back to your first image and press Ctrl+V to paste. With the Move Tool selected, click and drag to position your second image in the top right corner. Repeat this process for the other two shots, positioning them bottom right and bottom left.

3 Boost your colours

With your images in place, open the Layers panel by going to Window>Layers. At the bottom of the panel, click the Create new fill or adjustment layer icon, and select Vibrance from the list. Nudge the Vibrance slider to the right until all of your colours are bright and vivid. Be careful not to go too far. To save go to File>Save.

If you don't have the focal length to fill the frame with colour, you can always crop in Photoshop, though don't discard more than half the image area.


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