The Art Of Using Colour In Photography

without comments

Author: sam

Photography is all about light and shadow and of course colors. Use of color can breathe life into a still picture and make it lively. Ever since the invention of color film in 1935, it has been possible for photographers to capture the true color of their subjects through cameras.

Rainbow Huts
Rainbow Huts by Jamie Campbell on flickr (licensed CC-BY)

Artists and painters learn the use of colors at the early days of their trade but the situation isn't simple for the photographers since the photograph reflects only the true color of the subject matter. But pro photographers have still found a way to improve a photograph with clever use of color which is discussed in this article. Hence, if you are planning for a photography holiday you may find this write-up interesting reading.

Learn colors

A true digital photography enthusiast must learn about color and their meaning at the beginning of his trade. Different mixes of the basic colors would bring out different tertiary colors. For a photographic enthusiast it is important to learn different mixes of colors and their outcomes. The photographers must also learn about the complimentary and contrasting colors.

Color Wheel
Color Wheel by mckinney75402 on flickr (licensed CC-BY)

Meaning of color

Different colors covey different meaning. When hues of red, yellow, pink, orange can instil warmth in a picture, hues of blue, violet and mauve enhance the undertone.

Cold blue twilight city scene
and the world turned Blue 🙂 by Kate Palaña on flickr (licensed CC-BY-ND)

Apr13: Sunset Sailing
Apr13: Sunset Sailing by Daniel Ansel Tingcungco on flickr (licensed CC-BY-SA)

There is no denial to the fact that colors have an emotional impact on us. When some colors make us feel happy, some other causes gloom and depression. Use of color in photography can have the same effect, which the photographer can exploit. Photography holidays are known to offer photographic enthusiasts with the opportunities to experiment with colors.

Choosing a suitable subject

The important of choosing the right subject for photography goes without saying. The advantage of photography holidays is that this gives you ample subjects to shoot. When you are on a photography holiday you get the scope to search for subjects that attract you and also have lots of color scope to offer. You may enjoy the scope of choosing color enriched subjects for your photographs.

Colorful Holy man in Kochi, India
India-7580 by Dennis Jarvis on flickr (licensed CC-BY-SA)


Learn which color to use at the background to enhance the subject in the foreground. The basic colors look great against each other or when used at the background. It also brings about the subject of the photography more prominently. The photographer needs to have the basic knowledge of color contrast and compatibility between colors. Both the subject and the background should be chosen in such a way that colors don't clash with each other.

Photo demonstrating color contrast
rain color by seyed mostafa zamani on flickr (licensed CC-BY)

Use of light

Photography is all about the right amount of light. The lighting also helps in bringing out the color in the subject. The same subject may reflect different color spectrum in different lighting situations. The right amount of light also brings about the true brilliance of colors.

Colorful photo of a field of flowering oilseed rape
Who's afraid of green, yellow, white & blue by Bert Kaufmann on flickr (licensed CC-BY)

Advantages of photography holidays

Photography holidays have allowed the pros and amateurs alike to hone their photographic skills. There are photographic holidays to exotic locations and even to fashion shows for photographs interested in fashion photography.

Kasia Bober Fashion
Kasia Bober Fashion by David Long on flickr (licensed CC-BY)

Photography holiday is for people who are looking for stunning locations which can give them ample opportunities to experiment with light and color. In recent time photography holidays have gained popularity for allowing people to visit exotic tourist locations with great photographic subjects.

Old Man in Colorful traditional dress, Marrakech
Old Man Color by Patrick Hamilton on flickr (licensed CC-BY)

Photography has attracted photographers of all ages and hence there is no dearth of enthusiasm amongst photographers. The advent of digital photography has allowed the photographers to experiment with color and light. There are photographic schools which will teach you the basics of photography and color but the rest would depend upon the artistic sense of the photographers. A photography holiday is a great way to evaluate your skills.

About the Author

Stewart Strangeman was born in London in 1976. He is a professional photographer.

Written by Guest

February 26th, 2011 at 5:00 am

Leave a Reply