Home > Advice/Tips > Capturing Colour – Part 1

Capturing Colour – Part 1

by Coole Photography on November 4, 2013 Leave a comment

Attention Grabbers

Let’s start with a little intro… earlier in the year I was proud to become a member of the prestigious Coloratti group, part of the X-Rite family (see the original blog post about this momentous occasion here). X-Rite are world leaders when it comes to colour management and many professional photographers rely on their products to ensure what they see on their screens is what they will get once the photograph is printed, not as easy as it sounds!

As a member of this group we are all asked to give back to the photographic community in some way, and I have chosen to write a series of blogs over the next few weeks about colour and its role in travel photography. These blogs will not be essays nor will they be overly technical, there are already numerous posts available online about that side of things, but I can guarantee that the posts will be colourful and will contain my personal view on why the colours in the photograph make a difference to the overall shot. I really hope you enjoy my blogs and if you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the feedback section and I’ll reply as soon as possible.

When it comes to travel photography, bright or bold colours play a significant role in any photograph. Whether you want the viewer to feel happy or sad, see the warmth or the cold or simply notice the photograph to begin with – all this rests in the capable hands of colour. Kiff Holland, a famous painter, once said “Colour creates, enhances, changes, reveals and establishes the mood of the painting” and the same applies to photography.

For my fist post I thought that attention grabbing colours would be an appropriate start! By “attention grabbing” I mean bright and contrasting colours displayed together – making it almost impossible for a viewer to not look at your photograph. In a world full of images you need your photographs to stand out, and what better way to do that than by using colours.

Travel photographers are always on the lookout for colourful shots for the simple reason that people tend to notice the image more, and if you are trying to showcase a certain country and what it has to offer, the more views your images get the better. The following 3 images showcase my attention grabbing theory quite well I think, each one for different reasons, hopefully you’ll agree but if not please do let me know, a healthy discussion never hurt anyone!

An ancient stupa surrounded by colourful prayer flags at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bodhnath, also called Boudha or Bouddhanath, one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Kathmandu.

I am hoping this shot doesn’t really need much explanation as to why it is attention grabbing. The skies in Nepal are always this fantastic deep blue and Bodhnath Stupa is a dream for any photographer. The contrasting colours here really make a bold and eye catching image, which hopefully entices you into visiting at the same time.
Coral and turquoise necklaces for sale in the narrow streets of Thamel.

Although a very simple product shot I have always had compliments about this photograph. They usually start with I love the colours and then once people look past that they see the lines and repetition, shapes and composition. The point I am trying to make is the colour draws the viewer in to begin with, and then the photograph and content itself should hold them there!
Portrait of Harijan Woman, Khavda Village, Kutch, Gujarat, India

I have used this as an example due entirely to it being a portrait. Often overlooked, portraits seldom get much recognition as many people tend to prefer images of landscapes or architecture. I think the bold use of colour here certainly grabs people’s attention, and once they have caught a glimpse, hopefully they will continue to see the rest of the details in the image.

To see the article on the X-Rite website please click here. On my next post I will be talking about predominant colours and why sometimes it can work in a photograph’s favour to use only 1 main colour.

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