Home > Advice/Tips > Capturing Colour – Part 2

Capturing Colour – Part 2

by Coole Photography on November 18, 2013 Leave a comment

Predominant Colours

In complete contrast to my last post, this time I look at why using only one colour in a photograph can often work really well. Whether in architecture or portraiture, singling out your main colour and really going all the way with it can work wonders – it strengthens the image and makes your composition really stand out, which hopefully is a good thing!

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.

As a photographer, you make numerous decisions about each and every photograph you take; sometimes it’s what to include in your composition, what time of day to shoot the image or sometimes it’s deciding if contrasting colours will detract from the overall image. If you feel the photograph is quite eye catching without the use of contrasting colours, then why not try picking out a single colour and sticking with it? For the following three shots this is exactly what I did, and hopefully you’ll enjoy the reasons why. If you have any questions or comments please do leave them at the end of the post, I’d love to hear from you and I’ll respond as quickly and as thoroughly as possible!

Detail of the roof cladding used to tile the performing arts centre known as the Esplanade Theatres on the Bay at sunset, located in the Civic District.

As soon as the Singapore Esplanade roof caught my eye I knew what I wanted. Rather than complicate the image with a blue sky and the various shapes created when looking at this roof from ground level, I wanted simplicity and for the lines to do all the talking. Hopefully by choosing one predominant colour I have achieved this.
Large seated golden Buddha statue located inside the Sulamani Pahto, part of the Bagan Temple complex.

When taking images in religious buildings I usually opt for a wide angle view, however this particular shot presented itself and I really like it. The simple use of colour really draws the Buddha into the main focus, coupled with the repetition of the arches and neutral wall paintings, I think this is a really effective shot which uses the minimal colour to its advantage.
Portrait of a smiling Rajasthani girl, from a small village on the outskirts of Jaisalmer.

This young girl is from a small village in Jaisalmer, India. It’s funny, but even after all these years I can still hear her giggle and I can still remember how I thought it was lucky she was wearing a yellow top, had yellow gold on her necklace, had a yellow house and was surrounded by yellow sand. The predominant colour here really adds to the sense of location and I think makes her look at one with her surroundings.

To see the article on the X-Rite website please click here. Please drop by next week to read my post about sunsets and the fabulous colours that accompany them, although amazing to the eye getting it just right in photography is not quite as easy!

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