02-12-2019 10:56 AM - edited 02-12-2019 10:56 AM
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.
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.
In the snow scene below, the cool, bluish-white hue created by the snow makes the scene feel peaceful and calm.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!