article 12: Color Theory

//article 12: Color Theory

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Photographers of any level love to buy things in hopes of making them better. Better lenses, better camera bodies, better editing software, better widgets and gadgets but it is not physical things that make you a better photographer. Sure, some physical things might help make you a better photographer sometimes but there are lots more non-physical things that could improve your photography drastically and cost nothing at all. One of those free non-physical things, and probably one of the most undervalued and least talked about tools any photographer could take advantage of is the use of color.

It is no secret that some of your favorite companies have spent billions (yes, with a B, billions) of dollars thinking about color when putting together a brand. Designers can spend countless hours in color theory classes learning the art of color. For photographers, color can evoke emotion in a photo the same way that color can evoke emotion in your favorite business. When you think about businesses such as McDonald’s, Coke-Cola, In-Out Burgers (for you California’s out there), Burger King, Wendy’s they all have at least one color in common; RED. That is because experts have found that the color red can make you feel hungry. This is just one example of using color to sway your emotions. However, there are lots of colors out there, so let’s talk about some others.

Guide to the emotions that colors invoke
This infographic was found on a site called, Pamorama. In this graph you can see many other examples of brands and the use of color within them.

What do you think about when you see yellow? Happy? Optimistic? Warmth?
What do you think about when you see blue? Sad? Cold? Calm?

The bottom line is that wether you consider color in your photography or not, color plays an incredible role in the way a viewer is going to feel about your photographs and if you are not considering this you are missing out. It is important to think about color, create with intent. Use color, think about it and you will be surprised at how big of a role color will become for you in creating your images.

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