Photography Theme Ideas Using Color


Are you having a hard time figuring out what to shoot? In case you are running out of inspiration, look to color for help. Here’s a list of fun colorful theme ideas you can use for practicing your skills:

Monochrome – this term usually implies black and white images in photography but it also means an image that shows only a single color in different shades. The image might show black or white accents but no other colors are included. By focusing on only one color, you can boost a certain mood which that color can evoke. For example, a predominantly blue image can give one the impression of tranquility while an image that is mostly bright yellow can make one feel energetic and warm.

Pastel – light or pale colors imply softness and tranquility. Look for these colors and try to capture the mood that they present. Diffused lighting usually accompanies pastel colors to accentuate the mood all the more. You can experiment with harder lighting on pastel colors and see what impact it would give the image.

Vivid –unlike pastel colors which can calm and soothe the viewer’s senses, images showing vivid colors can give off energy and excitement. You can capture the vibrancy of colors by choosing vivid colors themselves or you can make them appear vivid with the use of lighting. Backlighting, for example, can give a glow to see-through colored objects making them look like they’re glowing. Plastic objects, flowers and even fruit or vegetable slices might have the usual colors but place them in front of a strong light and the colors will suddenly become brighter.

Selective desaturation – by turning the image into black and white except for a specific object which stays in color, you can create dramatic impact to the shot. The eye automatically focuses on that one portion in the frame that shows color and if processed well, it can boost the viewer’s impression of the image. You must be careful with this technique, however, since it has fallen into the realm of ‘cliché’.  For example, wedding photos are constantly being selectively desaturated with the bride and groom in black and white, while the bouquet of red roses is still in bright color. There is nothing wrong with this. After all, if it looks great then it doesn’t matter if it is cliché. The pitfall is if it isn’t composed and edited well, then it can look cheesy or just plain ugly.

Colorful – for this theme, try to include as many colors as you can without the image looking cluttered. It takes skill to do that since the colors can compete for attention and the point of interest might get lost in the process. Too many colors can also be an eyesore. Rainbows, patterned cloth, art supplies, flowers, iridescent insects, these are all very colorful in themselves. You can also set up the shot by grouping certain objects to show splashes of color. Using colored lights on your subject is another way to show off the color spectrum.


This entry was posted on Sunday, September 26th, 2010 at 9:05 am and is filed under Articles, Miscellaneous, Photo Inspiration. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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