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Understanding The Basics of Colour Theory in Photography

Colour theory is an important concept in photography as it can greatly impact the mood and feel of your photographs. Here are the basics of colour theory that every photographer should know:


Colour Wheel

The colour wheel is the foundation of colour theory. It consists of three primary colours (red, blue, and yellow), three secondary colours (green, orange, and purple) and six tertiary colours (red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-purple, and red-purple). Understanding the relationships between these colours is key to understanding colour theory.


Complementary Colours

Complementary colours are colours that are opposite each other on the colour wheel, such as red and green or blue and orange. When used together, complementary colours create a strong contrast that can make your photos pop.


Analogous Colours

Analogous colours are colours that are next to each other on the colour wheel, such as blue and green or red and orange. When used together, analogous colours create a harmonious and cohesive look in your photos.


Warm and Cool Colours

Colours can be divided into warm (red, orange, and yellow) and cool (blue, green, and purple) tones. Warm colours create a sense of energy and excitement, while cool colours create a sense of calm and relaxation.


Colour Temperature

Colour temperature refers to the warmth or coolness of a colour. The colour temperature of light can greatly impact the mood and feel of your photos, as warm light creates a sense of intimacy and cool light creates a sense of detachment.


Colour Contrast

Colour contrast refers to the difference between colours in your photos. High colour contrast creates a strong and dynamic effect, while low colour contrast creates a soft and subtle effect.


Understanding colour theory can greatly improve your photography skills and help you create photos that evoke the desired mood and feel. Experiment with different colour combinations and techniques to find the perfect look for your photos.

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