Anatomy of a Photoshoot

Lesson 12 of 38

Color Theory Part 2

 

Anatomy of a Photoshoot

Lesson 12 of 38

Color Theory Part 2

 

Lesson Info

Color Theory Part 2

Warm colors and cold colors remember these air emotional color so in a little bit we've had a lot of questions about color uh c c profiles in calibration and making prints match and all that kind of stuff we're going to get into that we've got a little extra time that we can dive into it and I'm going to go through my work lobe, but before we do that, we have to have some of the actual understanding of all these different color temps so way have warm colors, those air emotionally they help us feel good about things like fire and things that are aggressive, cool colors are things in the blues and the greens. Now, just for a compositional standpoint, one of the things that's interesting is when you're composing images and you want to have something that has a calming effect, horizontal orientation is going to give you that very calming effect. So if you go to any modern art museum, you're going to find a lot of art that has horizontal themes with the cool colors and if you watch those th...

ings and sit down, you're gonna have this relaxing experience and you're not getting a why is that? Well, because we have these emotionally cool colors that are calming, plus the association of horizontal they also helps us with that as opposed to warm colors what those guys do is they make our heart race and so they really stand out. The other thing is verticals are the same type of thing, so if you wanna have a photo that has a lot of power and energy, then you use warm colors and you put those vertical if you don't have a photo that is a lot of low energy, peaceful, calm, you're going to use a horizontal orientation so you can combine these colors with your composition to get different emotional effects, which is really, really cool. Let's talk about thes he's really quickly. The opposites of each is so complementary colors these air colors that are exact opposite on the color wheel, so at zero and one hundred eighty degrees you have these complementary colors now complementary colors they match perfectly, they match so perfectly that they're too perfect. And so if you're doing any kind of ad campaign or photography and you have colors that are exactly one hundred eighty degrees opposite of each other on the color wheel what's gonna happen is you're going to get high contrast. So if you've ever seen an ad or a poster or something where it just feels like the whole thing's like well doing that if you analyze the colors, probably those colors are exactly one hundred eighty degrees opposite in most graphic designers avoid colors that are exactly hundred eighty degrees opposite now there's another thing that is better than that and those are called split complementary colors and so instead of the exact opposite, you're going to go to the two hundred ten and one hundred and fifty degrees on the color wheel and so what that will do for you instead of getting the exact opposite you're going to get close to opposite and what that does is it gives you three colors two of which matched the primary color and this is really important if you're looking to uh make sure that the themes of your photography the set, the clothes, the wardrobe, the makeup all that kind of stuff matches um you need to make sure you're using split complimentary unless you have some reason to do complementary colors so split complimentary sir what most of us use when we're matching ties two shirts and jackets so that's what our natural inclination is to do so the other thing here we have our analogous colors so analogous colors what these are these are colors that are similar on the color wheel, so a group of colors like the blues or the greens these are colors that are very close to each other and these air usually what we have in photos that air monochromatic stones not black and white there monochromatic they're different shades of color so they're called analogous colors and so there used a lot in architecture as well as in design and so we can see all that stuff now, if I go back to this crazy thing that I showed you earlier when they're really zoom in on it again, this comes from color jack wei have these things up here and you can see that we have analogous colors not in the right spot. Sorry, somehow I've done something wacky. Oh, I'm not married. Sorry, let me fix this really quickly have to exit this first sorry about that. My bad that's. Another spectacular failure. There we go. How's that good? Yes. Okay, good talk about that. So we have these things that are analogous, complimentary, split complimentary. We have this counterclockwise and clockwise and that's talking about the direction that we're calculating around, uh, the color wheel so we can take something like this clash um, actually even talked about that clash is when you take something and they are, um their at ninety and two hundred seventy degrees they're just gonna clash, which you don't there they're like uh, what you would wear if you're a nerd, those are the colors that you choose clash colors we have complementary colors so that's the exact hundred eighty degrees we have colors that are split complimentary which we told you about so on this what I can do is I can take a color that's the color that I'm using there and go anywhere on the color wheel and it's going to choose the distance there for me to choose which colors match with that so that's why this little app is so cool so we can look at some things like counterclockwise so this is starting from this point here it's going counterclockwise to figure out the distance or clockwise then we have this thing here this try attic colors we're not gonna go through all of these because there's a lot you see that you could spend years in college studying color theory but try attic colors are colors that are equally spaced on the color wheel and so um the best way I have to describe this is sort of offensive but go with me on this so tragic colors are colors that you generally unless you have a really good purpose for this you wouldn't want to use colors that are exactly equally space so let's put this into real life situation let's say for example that you're a single guy lets you pretend like you're a single guy and you go teo bar and you want to meet somebody to go on a date with all right let's put it that way so you're going in you want to meet somebody that maybe you're gonna marry at some point in your life and you walk into the bar and there are three beautiful girls sitting on stools we're gonna have a hard time choosing which girl to go on approach because they're all beautiful and you have no point of focus like I don't I don't get it I don't know which one to do so what you can do here is if you have complementary colors actually split compliment colors what you'd have is the beautiful girl right and then the wing win right the girls that aren't so pretty they compliment that other one and so in the most offensive way possible I hope that helps you understand how color works that you would have color that is like the center of attention the one that stands out and everything else is based on and these others that just compliment that color we don't have a competition in our photo and what will happen is when you have different colors in your photos warm colors are always going to stand out before cool colors do so red's air always gonna appear physically closer than blues in fact, if you took two discs that are exactly the same size let's say five foot discs both round one red one blue and put him on a fifty yard line at a football field and looked at them you would think that that red one was closer even though they're exactly the same distance it always looks closer you can have a photo looking like monet and some of the paintings from uh you know the impressionists if you look you just have like all kinds of blues and all kinds of cool colors and then one warm color and m o that's where we look right that's why sunsets that we look at the sun because it's the warm color that we look at first so there's there things toe pay attention to when you're choosing color palettes for any kind of product because we want to guide the view or not just from our composition but from the color that we're using so it's it's very interesting teo know that all right, we're gonna go back over here because there's oh there's even more there's a rule there's a guy who was a german and his name is josef albers and uh he was with famous bauhaus school and he had this very famous statement and he said shape is the enemy of color and what he meant by that is that things that have, uh strong shape that really stand out they tend to be monochromatic shape is the enemy of color so things that our monochromatic uh I have strong shipton to be monochromatic again look at the frank gehry buildings in downtown seattle please google this, you'll see that it is all these really strong shapes but it's all monochromatic there's a silver section there's a purple section there's a red section but there's not like not a rainbow and that holds true of all kinds of things we look at the extension cords that around here very strong shapes all monochromatic uh if you look at, uh, silhouettes really strong shapes monochromatic you look it like heating ducts and weird stuff has really strong shit their money they're like different shades of silver. And so I had the opportunity a few years ago teo to go and hang out with greg gorman who's a really amazing photographer, and I got to spend a few days at his house and he really knows his stuff when it comes to this. So he taught me a few things and he said, you know, if you're shooting a black and white image and you know you're going to shoot black and white, then you need to use hard light and you need to have high contrast because that's going to give you a really high contrast, strong shape and because shape is the enemy of color, that strong shape and that monochromatic image you're gonna work hand in hand, we're going to get a much more dramatic image is going to work. So rewind to the beginning of the day, okay, we started with the light that moved around and it was like, okay, got it, but now, after we've done this color stuff you understand that if you're going to shoot black and white and subtract color that what you need to do is you can't have flat light, you need to move that light over so we have higher contrast and that gives us a stronger shape. We dropped the color out and that's really going to make it punch so you can choose to use color or you can choose to subtract color and a lot of my work. What I'll do is I will not take the color entirely out, but I will make it de saturated heavily so the images look monochromatic so soft light doesn't do well with with monochromatic themes doesn't really because there's no shape there to punch out. So if you wanna have a monochromatic theme or a black and white theme, lots of contrast, lots of side light if you want to have something that's really saturated with color, then you went soft, soft front light. So now think back to some of the most beautiful scenes that you've seen for scenic photographers. You got these fields of flowers and color and there's just like color bursting everywhere there are shadows, there's no shadows is this direct, nice, soft light and that's really what pulls that out so the direction of light and how you light directly correlates to how your color behaves in your image so the less color the more monochromatic that hired the contrast that you want the more colorful the more saturated then the less contrast you want you want to make it sort of not totally flat but a little bit more flat and I challenge you go start looking through your art books and your photography books and you will see this pattern over and over and over again in like, oh wow yes stuff that strong with shape no color stuff is very colorful, not high contrast there's definitely people that break this rule like well, I won't say that some people photographers that can absolutely do this that are really cool now another thing is, uh, color is emotional now that's the worst graham or ever because color you know is not a person but I love it so we're gonna leave that bad grammar in their colors like a teenage girl very highly emotional it's what color is it? And so really the better way to say this isn't that color is emotional but color provokes our emotions color does things to us that we may not even know about and so on the handouts we don't have time to go through all of these things, but in the pdf handouts we tried to put in a cz many of these as possible so you can see how this works so for instance, red and there are studies I don't know how we know this but we know this and it's been shown over and over so red does things like increases our pulse rate um kids the respond well to read and people who love life love read that sounds like a beard, isn't it? People of life love red but yeah it's red is is connected to that passion and energy and I love life and things were going in power it's also used in food restaurants because red makes us hungry so if you have a lot of red in your house you probably eat more than if you had different colors so you go on a diet paint your house um so these these evoke things like hot passion urgent danger blood devil angry um sounds like some gentleman enraged, outspoken, optimistic so we have those types of things for red yellow, the same kind of interesting things it's the color of a sunny disposition so you know it's uh, singing in the rain look at that poster it's all yellow it's albright it's gold intellectuals love yellow. I don't know if that's true what sounds good this is interesting. It takes more chemicals in the eye to see the color yellow that's wacky to me um but yellow can have some negative effects sounds like this drug ads you're looking cause baby see crime were often longer and yellow rooms a convalescent homes makes older people shaking it well what? Yes in convalescent homes it's shown that yellow can make all their people shake as it affects their minor motor movement is crazy true anyway so as you get older you tend to do just like yellow, so I didn't know that as you get older you're not gonna like that so it folks warm and cowardice and caution and fearful but bright this is one of those wacky colors I can't quite figure out because it's got all these negative connotations right next to a bunch of it sonny awesome so use yellow caution you know if you're shooting for a retirement home maybe not yellow um blue is, uh the color one of the colors I love because it's like they calming color is for introspection uh and it also sends our brain off uh eleven chemical tranquilizers wow that's pretty cool blue is the new drug to just sort of chill you out or it pumps people up. I was like, what if he studies come from it's really crazy? So it's also proven to increase energy, so uh goto in your gym and your gym painted blue your high school locker room blue I know there's lots of jim's stuff they're blue actually crazy but the emotional impact of this is er when we see blue we think honesty we think integrity we think righteous also if you're a as a student of history um there's this thing called the renaissance and uh the catholic church and they went hand in hand through the medici right? And so these guys in italy had all these paintings and stuff created in italy during that time if you were royalty you I had enough money to have your silk dyed purple right? We all know that on dso the royals wore purple in reds and so purple is the color of royalty and so we associate purple with wealth so lots of purple lots of gold that kind of stuff it's wealthy, wealthy, wealthy stuff it's also when you you won a blue ribbon right your first place you're good if you're the president of the united states what you wear blue and red com plenary colors and they show that I'm honest I have integrity and at the same time I can conquer you if I need teo what's all that stuff right? So um we could go on and on about these emotional impacts in fact for those of you that are, uh, fans of history and I'm a fan of history check out the work of a photographer by the name of james knocked way or others their war photographers and if you look at those photos you'll see that a lot of the photos from war in black and white they're black and white photos and if we go back in time to the history of war photography there's there's a fascinating study of color in documentary photography so world war two uh most images were black and white not because they didn't have color film but because newspapers and prince were black and white so we have that we had we needed to protect the image of um you know, we're doing the right thing and also um a lot of people wanted to to subtract the emotion of war from the reality of war because those two are very hard to put hand in hand and so in the past we've had these very, um almost hero worship kind of photos of iwo jima etcetera in the sixties for those of you who were around in the sixties and seventies there was a drastic change in the way that we looked at war photos and so for those of you around or any students of history, you know that there's a new thing called television and uh our attitudes toward what we were doing for the most part changed and so those images were in color and so no longer did you have this subtraction of here's something that's happening from the reality of who these people were you had all of that together and so we could see exactly what was happening in those images. And it cost a lot of unrest that we know about. And I'm not saying that all that stuff happened just from the photographs, but that was an intentional decision by a lot of those photographers to show things in a way that was different than they had in the past. And then if you go forward to the modern day photographers like james nachtwey who's a huge inspiration to me you look at his work is nine tenths of it is all black and white. Um, and so I think that the point of that is, uh, he's trying t separate the raw emotion if you see his work. Is it's really hard to look at? But the raw emotion of that when we take color out, it makes it look like a photo in an event that's happened to someone else for somewhere else. But we put color into it. It changes that field. And so color matters a lot. Now, let's, bring this back to commercial photography. Um, so commercial photography, wine is any of this stuff matter? Why does it really matter? Why do we need to know about this color stuff well, first of all we need to understand how to set the tone of whatever it is that we're shooting is it gonna be cheery is it going to be peaceful you know who are you shooting for you shooting for a cruise liner that saying hey come here you can relax it's gonna be nice and and quiet or do you wantto are you shooting something for a kid's toy is like wow this is awesome and shoot lasers you know you have to know what the tone is of what you're shooting it also helps with the wardrobe um and the make up artists you know we need to know what kind of colors they're they're using if you're shooting for example in a hotel and maybe that hotel has a very specific color palette well, you should know what that color palette is because if you don't then we're going to get colors that could clash with that room or the artwork on the wall so that's a very, very important and also if you're designing a set then you need to make sure you're set doesn't overpower your subject or vice versa we need to make sure that those things are all in balance and those colors are really, really going to be important and then last uh commercial photography always has a final destination so if you're shooting personal work for example that's not commercial photography it's personal work you're shooting something to maybe put in a gallery and maybe put on your portfolio or maybe just to learn something it doesn't have a final output in mind at the beginning but eh ah commercial shoot always has a final destination and it's going to be when you're hired all right, we need to have an ipad up we need tohave this uh in print it's going to go across these newspapers that's going to show up in a billboard it's going to be in caps and stores it's going to be displayed uh in these things in the mall, etcetera and so if you know what the final output is, you're going to understand what their restrictions are on those final outputs and then you can bake that in when you're shooting to make sure that you don't shoot something that can't be displayed so it's very important to know that you have to know where you're going on and this is all gonna be taken into consideration for that okay before we go on because I'm about to really confuse you because we have even more to talk about with color and we've just dipped her toe maybe your ankle maybe our ankles in at this point uh but this is just the basis of color theory and now we have to take that and tie it into the workflow color calibration print output okay, we got to get there before we get there do we have questions? Of course we do. Of course we have questions. Kingsley has another question. Why do most high fashion photographs have a kind of de saturated look? Because it's cool. Yeah, probably because this is in that's. Why it's like, why did people will wear bell bottoms in the seventies? That's a question will never know. The answer to a question from one's is how important is color in the makeup of your photo shoots the makeup in as opposed to make upon a model? Or I think the makeup on lipstick and stuff um in my opinion, is extremely important. And so tomorrow we're going to talk to diane or makeup artist, and, uh, we're gonna we're gonna learn about working with the mayor come artist, but it is very important. Um, for a couple of reasons, you can have something that if you have a like a beauty shot, you have too much makeup on or the wrong colors it's going to be distracting it's gonna look dated. It could makes somebody look tired or moody, or all kinds of things. And so you really have to be on target with not only the style but the colors as well, and plus, you don't have colors that clash with the wardrobe. And so all of that has to be taken in consideration usually a makeup artist in a wardrobe styles are working pretty tightly together to make sure that all works so yeah, I'd say it's pretty important sam cox wanted to know if you change the color of your studio to set a certain mood while shooting oh um normally we don't change the color of the studio for a certain mood but we definitely do make changes to the studio to set a mood and we're doing this tomorrow yes there there we do that we don't we don't repay ain't no same had also asked is color theory applied both in composition while staging and taking the photo and in post processing while correcting the image yes, it definitely is so I'm gonna work through through some of that uh I'm gonna work thru the workflow of making sure everything's calibrated and then day two and day three as we actually do the shoot we're going to see all of this play out in real time in real life a question from her test who would like to know if you recommend any colors for taking child portrait ce colors for child portrait now I would uh make sure that you understand I don't don't shoot children I don't photograph children are shoot that um I'm not definitely I'm not a child photographer but uh you know, I think pinks and blues and all the traditional so I don't know I don't know that if you asked a real child photographer they'd say yeah not only do the colors matter but the textures matter and you want to be soft but if you look at and get he's working it's it's uh um someone say cliche thinkit's pretty brilliant but her colors are our brilliant I mean she's got these uh you know, vegetables and stuff that really green and orange and but the kids are very, very soft soft light and the backgrounds are very soft they're muted colors uh but they all complement each other to give that you know, her philosophy is thies air very valuable things that have to be nurtured and so I think that comes across in her color palette for sure another what color would you use from? Oh, leave us alone. What colors would you use for to represent love or anything? Similarity for couples portrait's our wedding portrait it's um definitely red the red family those are the colors of love just like a valentine's day it's reds and pinks and those kinds of things. So um yeah, so red sun sets work well as well, so yeah, yeah there's a lot of those questions coming in red heels rock would like to know what is the color meter and how is it used okay that's a good in fact we'll make that our last question so color meter actually takes the color temperature of a light and so, uh this is the other half of color. Well, one another facet of color theory is if you have a light coming through a window in your architectural photographer on that light is coming in and it is seven thousand degrees kelvin and you want to fill with a strobe um some shadowy areas will that light is fifty, five hundred degrees kelvin you have to be able to change the color temperature of one of those where your color is going to shift and so that actually leads us into this graphic right here is the perfect segway. So here's this graphic this is where we're going to start getting confused I think okay, this is where I like what you're telling you just messed me up. All right? So on the left side of this we have, uh we have this scale that says when we start with the color temperature let me explain what color temperature is color temperature was invented by this dude named mr kelvin um and what he did was he going oversimplify this he heated up this this element and as he heated it up he checked what color was coming off of that and he has signed a physical temperature to that so like celsius or fahrenheit kelvin is a scale and so what we use is traditional like tungsten lights they actually heat up and they emit light and the hotter they are the more blue they become and the cooler they are more amber they become okay so with physical temperature colors that air cooler physically cooler like blue cold ice are actually amber which is the complete opposite of the emotional color which is blue so don't get these confused so the science is cool colors or amber and as light sources get warmer and warmer and warmer they get more and more blue now immediately I can see people going wait a second I'm in light room and when I say colored temperature down it gets what blue right? Yeah what's up liar mark this isn't right it is right so what's happening when you set your color temperature is imagine that we have a this'll line right here down the middle just happens to be the middle it's about fifty five hundred degrees kelvin imagine that we had another line going this way okay, we need an even mix of blue and amber we have to have these two things balance and those two things would be balanced to have a knife white balance that's where white balance comes from now what white balance does is if we had a piece of white paper our brains are very sophisticated if we walked into a room and it was lit by candles okay very very cool lights well, those candles are going to be very amber right? Very, very very amber color but our brain looks at that piece of paper and does all of the changes necessary to make it look white to us hey, when we walk outside to the bright bright bright uh sunlight outside big blue sky in montana uh here it is that paper is actually more blue then it is amber lots more blue but our brain does the same thing it shows up as white so we don't really see the shift in the colors but our camera does our camera sees him big time and so if we don't set our color temperature right, what happens is things that are taken in low light or inside with tungsten lights um if you've done trick or treat photography pictures or event photos or wedding receptions or anything when low light when there's tungsten uh they turn orange is orange pictures that's because the lights that are out there are very cool physically cool. Normally our cameras do a much better job when we get out here to the warmer range so what's happening is we have to balance out the blue and the amber so to fix this orange over here and this is where it's gonna make sense I think josh when we dragged that slider and light room to say my color temperature is less what we're doing is we are adding blue to even things out that's why things were getting bloom we say our color temperatures less because light room is adding blue to balance out the colors and the opposite is happening when we say I am I have something I need to warm up when we warm it up we're adding amber and that's what makes everything look orange and golden makes sense okay I hope this makes sense online not your virtual heads if it does, it doesn't send in questions and say that doesn't make sense but basically what we're doing is we're adding blue where we're adding amber and it looks like it's the exact opposite but is actually correct okay so color temperature an emotional color two different things emotional color blues or cool color temperature blues or hot just there's no way that's just what it is it is what it is okay, so um I have this little scale over here and maybe you can see it in your hand out but we've taken some common color temperatures and we've said this is what they really actually are so candle lights around fifteen hundred degrees kelvin the golden hour uh son just above the horizon is about thirty, four hundred degrees calvin and tungsten light is about thirty, two hundred degrees kelvin a flash is about fifty, five hundred degrees kelvin, or fifty two degrees. Fifty, two hundred degrees kelvin big, big blue skies, about twelve hundred degrees kelvin or nine hundred nine thousand kelvin so you'll hear different terms like I need a daylight balanced light they're saying is they needed a light that has a color temperature that, uh, is more blue than amber, or I need a light that is tungsten balanced so that these two standards that have emerged one is the tungsten light, thirty two hundred kelvin and the strobe, which is about fifty, five hundred degrees. Kelvin, if you look on the back, your camera, almost every camera I've seen in the last fifteen or twenty years has to white balance settings uh, every time one is a little light bulb that's thirty, two hundred rupees, kevin and one is a little flash and that's fifty five hundred degrees kelvin or sometimes a little off the flash one is it's around there, so they go back to the question, what is the color meter do let's say we have light coming in from outside and we're shooting with constant lights? Well, the light from the outside is going to be really blew in the light from the inside because they're tungsten gonna be amber. And so if we don't correct that, we have this amber light over here in this blue light over here is gonna look really weird. So what we're going to do is we're gonna have to warm up physically warm up the light, but putting a blue gel on the light that's inside to add blue to it. And so that's what's happening or if you have a light that's really hot, you put an amber gel to cool it down because we're cooling it this way. So I got in a lot of trouble in a lot of classes when I say we're gonna warm up the light put blew on it. No, you mean your cooling it off like, no, I mean, I'm warming up sometime about color temperature, so that's, what color meter does is it helps you make sure all the different sources of light, uh, work right? And, like the the only one I've worked with, issa say connick color meter and what it does is actually has a library of gels, and so you can meet her the largest light source, and you put it in memory. Then you go meter the light that you want to correct to that, and it will tell you the difference and the gel to use. To fix that you put that on there and then you meet with the other light and so you could get all this consistent light and then what happens when you take the picture it looks just like hospital white it's just like pristine white it's really good that's so good so usually you balance all the lights and then your warm things up a little bit of cool things down he'll fudge that in post production that helps you get all of those lights to be the same okay any more on that before we get into the calibration stuff any outstanding questions you guys have any questions on that so far is this new color stuff to you I hope okay. All right. Any other questions out there there's a question from con elin who says I have a white balance shift bracket on my camera can you incorporate that in color temperature yeah so you can if you have consistently like uh too cool or too warm image you can you can shift that over so if you're white balance says uh when you do a white balance calibration it comes up white but you're seeing a blue shift and you look at like the history family we saw and it's just not getting it right for some reason you can manually shift that blue or red or green over in a direction right or left to either warm it up or cool it off and so you can also, uh, control tent, one of the things that's, that's. Interesting if we go back here to all this color theory, so we had amber and we have blue, right? So we have these guys right here, but what about these guys, green and magenta? What about those as tent? If you look on your your sliders, you have a white balance. That's, controlling the blues and amber's and intent is controlling the greens in the magenta is now weird how it all just like there it is.

Class Description

Join Mark Wallace as he dissects a commercial photoshoot to reveal each step at its most basic level. From technical aspects of lighting and color, to real-world experiences working with art directors, make-up artists, models, and other professionals, you’ll have a firsthand look as he puts each piece together to complete several complete concepts from start to finish. This unique course explores the fundamentals of commercial photography, from the smallest jobs to the biggest productions. Bring your questions from your own shoots, or use this experience as a roadmap when planning your first jobs. Mark will be chatting with the live worldwide audience throughout the weekend!


Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CS 5.1

Reviews

Sean
 

Mark really knows his stuff. He was very well prepared and Mark did a great job teaching this course. Mark went through all the steps from beginning to end in great detail. He also answered questions from the audience an online viewers which helped fill in any blanks. Great course.