WORKING with COLOR

 

LIMITED COLOR PALETTES

 

NONOCHROME
Neutral color palette can produce photos that look like black & white but have a subtle tinge of color.

 

MONOCHROME
Subjects with a primarily cool or warm color sense…

 

HARMONIOUS COLOR
Color of similar hues work well with less contrasty compositions.

 

COMPLIMENTARY COLOR
Use the color wheel to see what colors are opposites. Simple bold compositions work well.

   

 

TERTIARY COLOR
Colors that are one-third of the way across the color wheel can also make interesting color studies.


COLOR BALANCE to EVOKE a MOOD

 

COLOR SHIFT with CREATIVE WHITE BALANCE
Simply by shifting the white balance from warm to cool while shooting a subject that has a different white balance, interesting shifts in color can be generated. This requires knowledge of the range of color temperatures and the light sources that create them.

cool neutral warm

People have also used a manual white balance on an object that is far from white. The shots came out crazy but nice, and actually not as off as you might think. This is another strategy for creative control.

 

OVER the TOP COLOR
Some subjects can shot more or less as is if their color itself is over the top.

 

 

EXTERIOR AMBIENCE
Particular light with a minimal subject works to create an almost surreal sense.

 

 

INTERIOR AMBIENCE
Capturing the ambient light in an interior space can evoke emotional impact.

 

 

EXTREME TIME OR WEATHER
Sunlight or the lack thereof creates ambience or ‘feel’.

 
fog at 3 AM    sunset walk

 

EXTREME NATURE
Arctic sun and fire in the desert may be hard to find in an unban environment, but…

 

 

ABSTRACT FORM through CLOSE FOCUS and/or SUBDUED COLOR
Eliminating much of the peripheral space and reducing the information in a piece, added to a reduction in color range is an example of ‘Form Supporting Content’.

 

 

RESTRICTED VIEWPOINT / RESTRICTED VISION
Forcing the viewers view combined with restricted color creates interaction between artist and audience.

 

 

REFLECTED LIGHT / LUMINANCE
A key point in dynamic photos is Luminance - making it look like the light is coming from the objects in the print, not just falling on them. A classic tool to achieve luminance in a print is to include reflective surfaces, most notably water.

 

 

COLOR BALANCE changes HOUR by HOUR
The color of the sunlight changes continually with the time of day. The most extreme tonalities are at dawn and dusk. One can shoot at these times, or digitally manipulate the tonality of a photo to mimic these shooting conditions. One can also study the changes in color with the seasons and use these to convey feeling.

 

COLOR SHIFT in NATURE / VARIATIONS on a THEME
Varying the angle of view, or time of day, or even change in season can produce interesting variations in what might othewise appera very similar if not the same.

 

MULTIPLE IMAGING / COLLECTIONS
While these pictures may be too simple to stand on their own, they gain power by being placed in a group.