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Using color to make your photos stand out

From using leading lines to taking great photos in low light, there’s tons of helpful photography tips you can discover right here on Connect to make your photos stand out on Google Maps.


Another way to improve your photos is to think about where color is in a scene before you even click the shutter. Planning a photo around color can help make your image more dynamic or emphasize a subject’s shape and texture.

LG-Manarola-1000.jpgCaption: A photo of colorful buildings on the cliff next to the sea, taken in Manarola, a small town in Cinque Terre, Italy. (Local Guide Stephen Bruns)

When I first became interested in photography, I only wanted to photograph things in black and white. Now, I love color photography because it can make a scene pop!


Here are three tips for using color to make your photos stand out.


1. Use color to express emotion

Color can help tell a story. An image with overall warm tones can evoke a sense of positivity, energy, or excitement while a photo with overall cool tones can make you feel calm, peaceful, or sad.


For example, the ancient castle in the photo below was photographed in warm, sunny light. The bright blue cloudy sky and vibrant green trees makes this place feel much more inviting and less threatening than if it was photographed on a gray, gloomy day.

LG-an-Quoc-Hoang-Bodiam-Castle-UK-1000.jpgCaption: A photo of Bodium Castle in Robertsbridge, UK, taken on a partly cloudy day and surrounded by a moat. (Local Guide Van Quoc Hoang)

In the snow scene below, the cool, bluish-white hue created by the snow makes the scene feel peaceful and calm.

LG-2018-02-04-1000.jpgCaption: A photo of trees and a pathway in Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn, NY covered in snow. (Local Guide Aslı Çağlar)

2. Capture complementary colors

Another color tip is to photograph complementary colors in a scene. Complementary colors are two colors that are opposite of each other on the color wheel. These are pairs of colors that when put together, they create a strong color contrast and are pleasing to look at. This creates visual balance and can make a photo more dynamic. The three traditional sets of complementary colors are red and green, yellow and purple, and orange and blue. You can see them positioned across from each other in the color wheel below.

GI-693206540-1000.jpgCaption: An image of the color wheel, with complementary colors placed opposite one another. (Getty Images)

For example, in the photo below, the pop of warm orange next to the bright blue of the restaurant makes the photo appear more visually balanced, even if there is more blue in the scene.

LG-3lunas-1000.jpgCaption: A photo of the front of Tres Lunas Las Terrenas, a restaurant in Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic. (Local Guide gri su)

3. Focus on monochromatic color

If a scene only has varying tones of a single color hue, it can help make the texture, patterns, and shapes in a scene more noticeable and add interest to your photo. When you are photographing, look for an area at a location with monochromatic color that will make patterns and details stand out.


For example, in the photo below, the focus on the varying shades of green make the pattern and texture of the plant more apparent and interesting.

LG-monochromatic-color-1000.jpgCaption: A close-up photo of plant leaves, taken in Costa Rica’s Monteverde Orchid Garden. (Local Guide Jeremy Bezanger)

In the photo below, the reflection of the blue sky on the hotel’s windows creates a monochromatic look which highlights the pattern of the building’s architecture.

LG-westingrand1-1000.jpgCaption: A close-up photo of the windows of The Westin Grand Munich, a hotel in Munich, Germany. (Local Guide gri su)

Try experimenting with one or more of these fun color techniques! See if you can add emotion, create a sense of balance, or showcase a subject’s texture and shape all through the use of color!


Do you have a photo that features one of these color tips? Share with us in the comments below!

AbdullahAM Level 9
Level 9

Re: Using color to make your photos stand out

Great post, very helpful tips @Christina-NYC 

Thank you for sharing with us.

Mainzer Level 6
Level 6

Betreff: Using color to make your photos stand out

Ich sehe zwar nicht das Foto, da ich das Ansehen von Bildern hier unterbunden habe. Durch die Restriktion, dass das Bild nur eine geringe Grösse haben darf beim Upload ist die Qualität der Bilder hier schlecht und oft sind es nur Screenshots vom Mobile. 360 geht gar nicht hier.


Daniela Tocan veranstaltet ja an Karneval ein 5 Tages Meet Up in Köln und da ist auch ein Workshop dabei, wie man mit wenigen Vorlagen Farbe von Popig bis Trist in ein Foto bringt. Grade an grauen Tagen kann man durch Bearbeitung triste Bilder in knallige verwandeln.


Ja ich habe massenhaft dieser Bilder ich poste die aber nicht online. Auf Streetview und Maps habe ich ein paar Testbilder für meine statistische Auswertungen ob Google die weiter oben plaziert.

Avraham_Jurado Level 9
Level 9

Re: Using color to make your photos stand out

Gracias por los consejos @Christina-NYC.


Por favor chequea mis post así ves mis fotos y me puedes dar algún consejo para mejorar mis fotografías :) 


Gracias amiga :)  

ShafiulB Level 8
Level 8

Re: Using color to make your photos stand out

Wow! I love to add extra color to my photography. Then it gets the dynamic view ..

@Christina-NYC  Thanks for these awesome techniques.. 

FB_IMG_1535397237449.jpgphoto with auto modeMY VILLAGE.jpgwith some extra colors

I also love this photo...

FB_IMG_1540144898446.jpgBeatiful Nature with green and blue sky. The nice view of Alta Dighi National Park @Naogaon, Bangladesh

PicsArt_11-27-09.16.47.jpgRickshaw shop photography from cumilla.

Jane9996 Level 8
Level 8

Re: Using color to make your photos stand out

Hi @Christina-NYC 

Thank you for useful post!

I like to take pictures so much, but I'm not a pro. I can only rely on my inner sense of color and composition.

I'd like to share my monochrome green picture with orange. I love green color! it's color of life!IMG-6660fbd99b56dc2780f77c4075893388-V.jpg


I also like bright colors!

IMG-09a80b789917fdddfbe9759e31935e86-V.jpgFlowers market in Tallinn, Estonia


IMG-fe6d665b7c09f7196a4ee23f1f3ccac2-V.jpgFruits in Istanbul, Turkey


IMG-da4a6bbfd215185a83f2b7a02bdbde11-V.jpgColor pencils



Google Moderator
Google Moderator

Re: Using color to make your photos stand out

Hey @Christina-NYC ,


Thank you for the great tips! I love colours and I tend to capture them in photos as well. I feel happy wherever I see bright colours and I smile instantly. 


If I edit my photos, I want to make the colours more vivid and contrasting. 


Here is a recent capture taken at Dubai Miracle Garden.


IMG_20190211_121907.jpgCaption: A photo showing colourful umbrellas among the green plants (Local Guide @MoniDi)

Due to the volume of private messages Googlers receive, I do not read or respond to private messages. Please post publicly so others may benefit from your discussion. If you require urgent assistance, please tag a Google Moderator. Thank you!

afrademon Level 7
Level 7

Re: Using color to make your photos stand out

Thanks @Christina-NYC  for this nice post. these tips will help with my photography.

Irfansalamat Level 10
Level 10

Re: Using color to make your photos stand out

very useful tips for high lighting the true colors thanks @Christina-NYC 

this is great to improve photography on maps. IMG_20190206_103556.jpgthe natural colorful leather

Venky_lightbug Level 6
Level 6

Re: Using color to make your photos stand out

Thank you for such a wonderful post @Christina-NYC 

Really helpful and explained in such a great way with representative pictures.

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