How did your February challenge go? It's hard to believe it's over, it went by too quickly! Maybe it's because the month is shorter?!?
I had so much fun playing with framing, and I know a lot of you did too! I'll be getting a blog post up sometime during the first week of March with some of my favorite framed images shared in the Facebook group and with the tag on Instagram. I can't wait!
Are you ready for a new challenge? For March, our challenge is:
This may seem like a weird challenge to you, but I promise there's a reason I chose this challenge for this month! Three years ago, I came up with an idea to bring color back into my life as spring began to show it's pretty little self! The last two years, I've invited anyone else to join in on Instagram and it's been a hit! Maybe you've done it with me, or maybe you've never heard of it, but it's called: Building a Rainbow. And when the month is done, you get something that looks like this:
By no means do you need to work on the rainbow this month, this is just an extension of this month's challenge. If you want to build your own rainbow this March, go here to see the details! (It's the previous post, in case you're scrolling that way.)
So, what is color theory?
Colors in photography can evoke emotions to the viewer. In this way, they tell a story through your pictures. Have you noticed cool colors, like purples, greens, and blues give a sense of calm, while warm colors, such as reds, yellows, and oranges bring happiness and excitement?
To make the most of color, get to know the color wheel. The more you understand the color wheel and how colors work together, the more you can use it to your advantage! I'm not going to go deep into color theory, so if you're interested in learning more about it, google it--there are plenty of sites out there that will give you all the information you could ever want!
There are five main ways to use color to drive the feeling behind your images:
1. Complementary colors
2. Analogous colors
3. Monochromatic colors
4. A pop of color
5. Hue, saturation and lightness/darkness
Complementary colors are opposites (or close to opposites) on the color wheel. They make your subject pop and give a lot of contrast, and boldness. Red/green, blue/orange, yellow/purple are opposites. If your child is wearing red in a green forest, your child will be the first thing the viewer sees, even though green is the main color.
Analogous colors are next to each other on the color wheel. They give a sense of harmony, peace and calm, and they are often found in nature. Red/orange/yellow, or blue/green/purple are the most common combos. Have you ever noticed how the blue sky and green grass work so well together?
Monochromatic colors are shades of the same color, varying in light to darks. (Think ombre!) This can also bring calm to your picture, even if the color is a bold one, because these photos have the least amount of contrast. If you take a picture with monochromatic colors, be sure to have some texture or contrast in light and shadows, otherwise your image will be kind of blah.
A pop of color in a neutral background is the easiest way to make your subject stand out. Neutrals include grays, tans, beiges, blacks and whites. Any other color in that setting will draw the viewer's eye to the subject. It doesn't matter how big or small the subject is, your eye will automatically go to it.
Let's not forget the importance of hue, saturation and lightness/darkness!
Hue means the tones of the color--is the green more yellow or blue?
Saturation is how much of the color is in there. A highly saturated color will be bold and bright, where a desaturated color is more pastel, dainty and delicate. Colors can be light or dark in shade. This goes hand in hand with those monochromatic colors.
Some things to think about color theory:
What you want the colors in your image to say?
Do you want your subject to stand out?
Do you want the mood to be calming and relaxing?
Are you going for bold and loud?
Do the colors convey the feeling of your image?
Think about the message you want to share with just using colors in your images. If you're up for really learning and mastering color theory this month, do an experiment: Find a colored subject, and try taking pictures of it on different backgrounds and see what you prefer! Can you say different things with just one subject?
To participate this month on Instagram, please use the tag: #2017creative_color for your pictures taken in March. (And, can I say, bonus points to anyone who uses color theory with any of the previous challenges of reflections and/or framing!)
If you haven't joined the Facebook group yet, and would like to, click here. It will send you to the FB group page, and you'll need to request to join. You will have to be approved before you can get in.
I'm truly grateful for all of you who have participated and kept me and others going. I know February was a hard month for many, but let's not let it set us back in learning and growing! I hope to see some amazing and colorful images in March!
I'm a mom of 4 boys, in love with photography, especially landscapes, macro, and silhouettes.
"To me, photography is an art of observation. It's about finding something interesting in an ordinary place...I've found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them." -Elliott Erwitt