The use of colour in photography is one of the easiest ways to create really strong, visually powerful imagery. Whether you’re simply giving your images a saturation boost to enhance the colour already in the scene, or the colour is the subject within itself… it’s a compositional tool that grabs your viewer’s attention immediately!
Our Advanced Photography Course students study colour theory as part of our composition module, and then they’re set the really fun challenge to pick up their cameras, and take a photo that uses complementary colours to create an image that pops! Complementary colours are colours that are opposite one another on the colour wheel, and guaranteed to work together.
We grabbed a handful of our faves from the challenge album to show you how you can create art when you use colour purposefully!
Once you start looking for complementary colours in nature, you’ll see it everywhere! Mother Nature really knew colour theory… these shots are perfect examples where she’s used complementary colour.
Once again Mother Nature uses colour in whole foods, perhaps to entice us to eat? Regardless, it’s an easy way to create a fabulous image!
Take matters into your own hands and and grab two different foods in complementary colours to set up a striking image. Get in close, fill the frame!
When using food combinations as a subject, ensure they’re a natural pairing. For example, lemon, lime and orange are a great choice as they’re all citrus with similar textures and common shapes.
Look for opportunities to use the sky as a contrasting backdrop, get down low and shoot up.
If they’re available to you, include the clouds for added interest and depth. In this shot Shannon has elevated it even further by including the setting sun just at the edge of her frame which adds a little dreamy, summery feel.
Clothing is a really easy way to add an extra layer of colour to complement your subject. In all of these shots the photographers used the ground as backdrop by standing up and shooting down. This frames out any clutter in the surroundings behind them, and as a result they isolated their subject and the colours beautifully.
The options are limitless when you use coloured project paper as a backdrop for your subject. This is a very simple set up but the bold combination of yellow and pink gives a really striking result!
Look for colour in the environment around you to create stunning landscape images. In this shot, Kellie spotted beautiful light creating an orange glow around the clouds which married perfectly with the sky as backdrop. Include some silhouetted trees and you have context, layers for depth, and that detail adds extra interest.
We hope these images inspire you to start looking around with a fresh eyes, and either look for seemingly ordinary scenes or subjects that can be elevated through the addition of colour, or purposefully adding colour in your photos of your kids for really eye catching portraits!
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