Elements of Visual Design – Color

As you can see, composition can be made up of one or several design elements that can make your images stand out.  In previous posts, we discussed shape, form, and lines.  This post will concentrate on color as a design element.

Color is made up of several elements: hue, value, and intensity.  Hue is the actual color with the value making up how light or dark the hue is and intensity is how rich or saturated the color is.  For example, the actual hue for pink is the color red and when value is added it gets lighter but when value is taken away, it gets darker.  Intensity represents how rich the color is.  Tint is when you add more white and shade is adding more black.

When using color as a design element, you can place contrasting colors together (colors on opposite sides of the color wheel) or have analogous colors together (colors next to each other on the color wheel).  You can even choose to use a monochromatic color and just use different values of the same color in your image.

iris Example of contrasting colors

Colors can also bring out moods or emotions.  Lighter colors can bring out positive moods whereas darker colors are more negative.  The hue of the color can also create emotion.  Warm colors, such as red, orange, and yellow can bring about happy and optimistic feelings or they can bring about angry or pessimistic feelings.  Cool colors do the opposite making you feel harmonious and peaceful.

To learn more about colors, head over to our series on “Color Theory“.

#photography #designelements #color

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