A Short Course Book
Using Your Digital Camera
A Guide To Great Photographs

Color Choices

The choices you make when photographing in color, such as how to position a colored object against its background or whether to concentrate on bright, brilliant colors or muted, soft ones, affect the mood and general impact of your pictures. Stop for a moment before you make an exposure and try to focus your attention only on the viewfinder image. Ask yourself how the colors relate to each other. Perhaps a change in camera position might bring one colored object to a better position in relation to another. Or perhaps you should wait until sunset turns the sky a more brilliant hue. Don't limit yourself to taking the first view of a scene that comes to your attention.

Top. Contrasting colors can make a subject stand out, as this magenta bush stands out against the more muted green and brown background. This contrast draws the eye to the more brightly colored object in the image.

Middle. We expect certain familiar objects like human skin or green grass to be within an accepted range of normal colors. However, if the color is not known the viewer will accept a wide range of possible colors as normal.

Bottom. Colors often create a psychological temperature. Blues and greens seem to be associated with coolness, water, or ice, while reds and oranges seem related to fire and warmth.

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