Essential Color

Essential Color

In digital photography “SEEING” color and value becomes an extremely important design element that is key to continued success. In order to see color you must understand color and color schemes.


Color Theory Vocab to be familiar with:

    • Saturation
    • Intensity
    • Primary
    • Triadic
    • Complimentary
    • Analagous
    • Warm and Cool Colors
    • Harmony

Recall your color theory  and color schemes discussed in previous classes:  warm and saturated colors advance / cool and unsaturated colors recede / warm colors direct the eye / contrasting colors create tension / analogous colors create harmony / etc. Additional Google research on color theory might be of major assistance in  this project.



Be sure with this project to document your design process as you DEVELOP your IDEAS. Your process is makeup half of your final evaluation of success. Its simply impossible to succeed without developing a great idea.

Create photos don't Take them!

  1. Understand Problem
  2. Research
  3. Generate Ideas
  4. Develop Solution
  5. Test
  6. Evaluate

Using Color as a Focus

•  An individual element that is colorful could dominate the entire composition.

•  Using extreme contrast of colors could create tension and bold statements: consider complimentary color schemes.

•  Find a common color scheme (analogous) that is carried throughout the image.

•  Find an image that is dominated by a single color in different shades or tints (monochromatic).



How do Photographers use Color? Well, take a look.

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Color should be what makes the photo interesting. Without color the image would seem normal, boring, or just plain nothing special. Just remember there is a BIG difference between color and B&W. They photo you are creating wouldn't be successful in B&W.



Shoot familiar objects in unfamiliar ways (super close-up, fragments, cropped, altered environments, etc.).  Ultimately Color should play an essential role in the compositions.

Shoot with a digital camera (10 megapixels or more: no phones).



Complete: You will print 3 images that use color in different ways to make the photograph successful. We will use these images to explore new and different Photoshop techniques you may choose to use on your photos in the future. If you would like to take other digital photos to use during these exercises feel free. You must have AT LEAST 48 images on a digital contact sheet that show an emphasis on color in your compositions.


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