Use Color Theory in Photography

How to Use Color Theory in Photography: Easy 5-Step Guide

Boost your photography with color composition tips.

Have you ever thought about how different colours can make you feel? What do you know? You can do the same thing with colours in photos too! We can Use Color Theory in Photography look really cool when we take them. It feels like magic! Join me as we learn how to use colour to make our pictures look really cool!

That’s why colours can make different people feel different things. It’s possible to feel calm and happy at the same time. Some colours, like the sky, can do that. The colours we use in our art can make people feel the same way! We can also use colour to draw attention to things in our pictures. Picture yourself taking a picture of a pretty flower. Everyone will notice the flower if we make it really bright and colourful!

There’s more, though! You can also use colour to balance and improve the look of our shots. Like when you colour, you want to pick colours that go well together, right? It works the same way with pictures! Let’s find out some cool things about colours and how to use them in our art! Are you all set? Come with me on a colour journey!

Understanding Color Theory

Let’s talk about colors and photos! But first, let’s understand some basics

  • Color Wheel: What does a colour wheel do? It looks like a big circle with many colours on it. Some of the most important colours are red, blue, and yellow. These are the basic colours. They can be mixed to make different colours, like orange, green, and purple. We call this colour secondary. Not only that. More colours are made when you mix two main colours together.
  • Color Harmony: Colour balance is what we’re going to talk about. This is what colours look like when they are mixed. There are many ways that colours can look great together. There are colours that look great together and make each other stand out.
  • Color Temperature: The colour temperature is the last thing to talk about. Have you ever felt as hot as the sun in the summer? You can also feel that way with colours! If you want to learn more about Color Theory in Photography, you may visit the official website of ‘colormatters’.”

How to Use Color Theory in Photography

  1. Understand the Color Wheel: There are three main colours: red, yellow, and blue. They’re like the people who drive a story! The other colours are orange, green, and pink. They’re like the cool group you get when you mix two main colours! The third set of colours is here. These colours are like the unique friends you get when you mix two different colours. They’re really different!
  2. Play with Color Schemes:
    • Different Colours: These are like best friends who couldn’t be more different from each other. But when they’re together, they make each other stand out! Think about a cool blue and a very bright red. They make everything look exciting when they’re together!
    • Next Door Colours: These colours are like rainbow neighbours. They always get along like best friends! Think of soothing blues and greens. When they’re together, they make you feel calm and happy.
    • One Colour Shades: It’s like having various shades of your favourite colour. That’s like having many different kinds of your favourite toy, but they’re all the same toy! It makes things look classy and easy. Think about different shades of red or black and white.
  3. Consider Color Value: Do you understand what shade means? Like when you have different colours and some are lighter than others. When we paint or draw, we can use shade to make things stand out or look more complex. It makes our shots look like magic!
  4. Think About Saturation: Let’s talk about hues! Colours can be very bright or very soft. When we use very bright colours, like a very bright red or blue, they really stand out! Bright colours make us feel angry, but soft colours, like a red or blue, make us feel calm and gentle.
  5. Train Your Eye: Notice colors in the world and how they interact. Look for color inspiration everywhere

Color Temperature and White Balance in Photography

Color Temperature Explained

Think of a metal piece that is shiny. It changes colour when we heat it up! At first, it turns red, like a tomato that’s ready to be picked. Afterwards it gets warmer and more orange, like a sunset. After that, it turns yellow, like the sun.

When it gets really hot, it goes white, like clouds. Finally, it turns blue, like the sky on a clear day, when it’s really, really hot. Scientists use a unit called Kelvins (K) to measure this stuff that changes colour. It tells us if something is really hot or cold. That’s cool, right?

Use Color Theory in Photography
  • Low Kelvin (Warm): Incandescent bulbs, firelight (around 2700K-3500K)
  • Mid Kelvin (Neutral): Daylight (around 5500K-6500K)
  • High Kelvin (Cool): Shade, cloudy skies (around 7000K-9500K)

White Balance

Did you know that our eyes look like shields? They can see things in various lighting conditions! We always think of a white shirt as white, no matter if we’re inside with the lights on or outside in the sun. But cameras need a little extra help to see colours correctly.

One thing that cameras do is called “white balance.” It works like a special button and lets the camera see colours right. Picture might look a little off if the white balance isn’t set right. For example, they might look blue when you bring them inside and turn on certain lights, or orange when it’s sunny outside!

Read More: How To Shoot Infrared Photos: 9 easy steps


Okay, now that you know about picture colours, let’s use them! If you change the colours, the way things are put together, and the way you use light, you can make drawings that everyone loves. Colour rules are easy to remember.

Be careful when choosing your main colours, and mix bright and soft colours to make your pictures interesting. You can really make your pictures stand out by adding colours to them. Do not keep this fun stuff to yourself! X (twitter) and Facebook about it so your friends can also make cool shots.


Can I use color theory in black and white photography?

Yes, colour theory can still be used in black and white photos, though it needs to be done in a slightly different way. To make dynamic and powerful black and white pictures, don’t just think about the hue and saturation of colours. Instead, think about the tonal contrast and luminance of different shades of grey.

How can I correct color cast in my photographs?

When lighting or white balance settings throw off an image’s general colour balance, this is called colour cast. To fix colour cast, use your picture editing software’s white balance adjustment tool to get rid of unwanted colour tints and bring back true colours.

How do I choose the right colors for my photographs?

When you choose colours for your picture, think about the mood, message, and subject. Pay attention to colour psychology and how different colours make you feel, and try out different colour combinations to see what goes best with your eyes.


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