Photography Lesson 6 – Using Color

Photographic Design | Using Color

Assignment Objectives
Color can be a highly expressive element to use in your photography. Shoot photos where color is your primary subject. You may choose to photograph a single color or try finding different color palettes to work with. Try getting your camera close to isolate a color and backing up to encompass a color palette in your photographs.

As you shoot and review your images pay attention to the emotional content color can bring to your work. Many of our associations with color are cultural. You may also have your own color associations.

Below is a list of common color associations to help get your thinking about how color effects you. Also consider color combinations such as black and white, earth tones, pastels, colors found in nature, 1970’s colors, etc.

Common Color Associations
Red – 
blood, fire, love, passion, anger, heat, warmth, life, birth
Orange – warmth, fire, harvest, energy, assertiveness, power, alienation
Yellow – sun, light, warmth, wisdom, intuition, hope, energy, riches
Green – earth, fertility, vegetation, nature, growth, renewal, envy, creativity
Blue – sky, water, sea, heaven, spirituality, relaxation, cleansing, nourishing, loyalty, calm
Purple/Violet – royalty, spirituality, wealth, authority, death resurrection, imagination, attention, excitement, paranoia, persecution
Black – darkness, emptiness, mystery, beginning, womb, unconsciousness, death, depression, loss, sophistication
Brown – fertility, soil, sorrow, roots, excrement, dirt, worthlessness, new beginnings
White – light, virginity, purity, moon, spirituality, creation, timelessness, dreamlike, generativity, resurrection, clarity, loss, synthesis, enlightenment

5-8 photos using color as a major design element.

William Eggleston , Untitled, Color Photograph, c.1971 – 1973 from “Troubled Waters” 1980

William Eggleston , Untitled, Color Photograph, c.1971 – 1973 from “Troubled Waters” 1980

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