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:

purple Photography Theme Ideas Using ColorMonochrome – 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 cd Photography Theme Ideas Using Colorbride 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.

 


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Using Color in Photography to Evoke Emotions

According to color psychology, colors affect our visual perception and can evoke an emotion or create a mood. There are colors that we gravitate to and others that we dislike. Certain shades and hues can influence us in our decisions. The world of interior design, clothing, and art are just a few areas where the use of color is carefully considered. Color is a very powerful tool and when applied to photography, it can greatly influence how we feel as we gaze at an image.

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Using Color to Emphasize Your Subject

cracked cd 1024x768 Using Color to Emphasize Your SubjectColor often sets the mood in a photograph but it can also accentuate a point of interest. You can use colors to make an image stand out, such as by playing with contrasting or complementary colors or setting the colored subject against a muted or monochromatic background.

A standard color wheel or spectrum is halved into two sides: cool and warm. A cool color such as green will have an opposite (and warm) color which is red. Contrasting colors are those which are far apart in the wheel, the further they are from each other, the greater the contrast. If you pair contrasting colors in your image, you can make the image appear more striking. However, too much color contrast can soon be exhausting to look at.

Another type of pairing are complementary colors. These are color pairs that are on opposite sides of the wheel such as red and green or blue and orange. But just because they are called 'complementary' does not mean they are complimentary and some pairs will not look that attractive if you use them in the shot.
zipper 300x224 Using Color to Emphasize Your Subject
Colors also stand out in a shot if there are no other colors that might steal its impact. By placing a colored subject against a background with little or no color, the subject will immediately draw attention to itself. You can then fully present and appreciate the beauty of a subject's color.

A little splash of color can be enough to bring focus to the subject. Some photographers experiment with a post processing technique called 'selective desaturation' where the image is monochromatic except for a point of interest which remains colored. It is often regarded as 'cliché' and is over-used by beginner photographers but if applied successfully, this technique adds to the message you are trying to put across.

By using the backlighting technique, you can make your subject's colors look more vibrant and intense. Look for subjects that are transparent or translucent and hold them up against the light. You will notice that the colors look different; they may even appear to be glowing. Plastic objects and thin items such as paper often make great subjects for backlighting since they allow some light to pass through them, highlighting their colors and details.

Use other techniques to bring out the colors of your subject. Try to capture its iridescence, its muted softness, or its vibrancy. Play with color combinations but do not go overboard by showing too much color or the photo will turn out look garish and be an eyesore.


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