Color Photography

Street Parade


Capturing color is all about making color predominate in the image. Colors in an image can be closely related to give the image harmony, or the colors may contrast to make the image stand out.

It is common for a splash of red in an image to make the whole image stand out. Some colors will give a warm feeling (orange and yellow), others will give a cool and calming feeling (green, blue and violet) and other may give us a hot feeling (red).

As discussed in our Principles of Photography section the color of the light source can alter the colors captured by the camera, so be aware of the color source illuminating the scene. See the menu to the right of this article for further information on color temperature.

This street parade scene aboveĀ is highly saturated with a contrast of colors to give the scene impact.

Use of a polarising filter will eliminate reflections and will enhance the saturation of the colors in the image.

An increase in the saturation slider in Photoshop will also enhance the colors in the image.

Very strong effects of color can be acheived with contrasting fully saturated colors or even fully saturated complementry colors. The following are complementary colors:

  • red and green
  • yellow and blue
  • purple and chartreuse (half way between yellow and green).

The following images below illustrate some of the effects which can be obtained in using highly saturated colors together with a combination of colors to bring together the whole image. In general, the common theme in appealing color images is high saturation of the colors.

This highly saturated garden bed is a mass of colors.

The spilt sweets in this scene combined with high saturation with a mix of many colors.

The Rainbow Lorikeet is a blaze of highly saturated colors.