Category: Street Photography
Photograph:CTA Green Line to Harlem” by Jovan Jimenez (Jovan J)

Jovan Jimenez’s image is not only a beautiful example of street photography, but also an excellent demonstration of several composition concepts.  Using selective focus and a very shallow depth of field, he pulls your attention directly to the front of the subway train, where you see the sign the image derives its title from.  The shallow depth of field also allows a story to unfold, the out of focus subway cars and nameless figures help you to play out in your imagination what is happening in the scene.  The strong use of leading lines pulls your eye through the image, completing a strong composition.

What I find really interesting as well in this shot is the great display of the use of color theory.  There are two concepts in play, a balance of warm and cool colors, and the use of a Tetradic color scheme.

The overall image is fairly “cool” with the muted grays of the train and platform, the large blue band on the platform, and the green sign as the focal point of the image. This is balanced with the warm reds and oranges of the lights on the train, on both the front and in a line running down the length of the train, in concert with the cool blue line.  The color scheme is “Tetradic”, also known as the double complementary color scheme. It uses four colors arranged into two complementary color pairs; green/red, and blue/orange.  Because tetradic colors use so many complimentary colors, it can be vibrant to the point of jarring if one color is not dominant.  In this case the green becomes dominant and grabs the eye, balanced by the small red lights.  The blues and oranges are subdued, creating a scheme where the little pops of color add immensely to the scene without overpowering it.   

Originally shared with the Photofocus Flickr group

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