Color Theory and Emotion
So now that we've talked about how things like light and exposure in contrast affect the mood and the emotional photo. And I want to turn to color and color can have profound effects on the mood, the emotion or the story that your photo is trying to tell. And one of the greatest things about colors that we have complete control over it in adobe lightroom um on mobile or on your pc. So we're gonna talk about a few different things in this section. We're gonna talk about the anatomy of color. So what are the things that comprise color? Um and that's important because we can actually edit all of those things that comprise color in adobe lightroom. So we're gonna talk about the anatomy of color. We're gonna talk about color harmony. So which colors look good together and which colors don't look good together. And of course we're gonna talk about how color affects the mood in the emotion of your image. And lastly, I'm gonna introduce you to a few really, really cool tools that can help you ...
refine your color. Um and really look at the color of other photographers that you really like. Some of the photographers that inspire you how to break down their color. So you can use similar colors in your photos. Okay, so starting off, we're gonna talk about the anatomy of a color and the anatomy of a color is very important because actually in lightroom mobile, we can control all three aspects of color. Those three aspects are hue saturation and luminous. So Hugh is essentially the actual color, whether that's pink or purple or blue or green and all of the shades in between that is Hugh saturation is the purity of the color. So um how pure that color is, The pure the color, the more saturated that color is, the more vibrant it looks to our eyes, right? The less pure, the more closer that color gets to gray, which is the absence of color. So we're talking about saturation a lot in this course and essentially I'm just referring to the purity of a color. So the last aspect of color is luminant and that essentially is how bright that color is. So the more luminant a color is, the brighter that color is um if it is less luminant than it will be darker. So think about a dark blue versus a light blue, you know that light blue has very high illuminates, the dark blue has very low luminous. So those are the three aspects of color and they all affect emotion um in a lot of different ways. But I wanted to talk about this because we can actually edit, like I said, we can edit all three of these things in lightroom mobile and we're gonna get into that later on in this course. So the hue of color is very important. I just talked about Hugh and what hue is um and an easy way to explain Hugh is to bring up the color wheel. So the color wheel has every color that ever exists in the spectrum of colors right? You can find any color on the color wheel somewhere, it's hidden in there somewhere. So when looking at the color wheel in the middle of the color, the exact center of the color wheel is true white. So that is the absence of color, true white. Um, and on the outside of the color wheel, we have colors in their purest form, the highest saturation possible. You might be thinking yourself sean, why are you showing us this color wheel? Well, I'm showing you the color wheel because I think it's a fantastic way to look at color harmony and color harmony in short is basically what colors look good together. Um, there's colors that are harmonious and there's colors that are not harmonious and this is something that I can sit and talk about, but actually it's much easier for me to show you this. So I'm gonna hop on my computer and show you this really cool app called Adobe color CC. Just kidding. I'm not gonna jump on my computer. I'm gonna jump on my phone. There is no dedicated app for this. I'm not really sure why, but you can do everything you need to do in the browser here. So just go to color dot adobe dot com and you're gonna see this color wheel here and this color wheel is awesome because it allows us to look at multiple different types of color harmonies, which we can then use um in our photos later on. So when you open it up, you're gonna see this color wheel, you're gonna see five boxes, um some sliders on the bottom and then you're gonna see these weird like fingers or whatever you call them within the color, weigh themselves. If you tap this little dot here, the little target on the left, you're gonna see a few different color rules and these are essentially different types of color harmonies. So starting at the top, we have analogous analogous means essentially all of the colors that are selected, stay at a specific distance away from each other. You can see here they're all staying no matter where I move that middle color, they're all staying a specific distance around each other. And this is a really nice color harmony because it's, it's, it's very naturally occurring. You'll see this in nature a lot. For example, if you look at the field and there's pink flowers where there's going to be a lot of different shades of pink and red and orange and everything is, is kind of related. So this is a very kind of natural color harmony that we see quite often in nature. Um, you can come up with some really interesting color harmonies here, going to the next one is monochromatic and monochromatic is essentially just different shades of the same hue. So if we get yellow here, a different shade of that hue is, is brown and then a darker yellow, kind of greenish. So you can see if I scroll that around, what that's gonna do to each color, just different shades of each color, essentially the next one is triaged and this is basically a triangle creating a triangle around our color wheel here. And this can can lead to some very vibrant color combinations, very bold, very colorful. Um and absolutely gorgeous color combinations with this. Even if you bring it down in saturation, you still get some really lovely lovely color combinations here. Like look at this one, it's very, very nice. Next we have complementary and this is probably the most common that we see complementary is essentially just different sides of the color wheel and these colors just look awesome together. So, really popular one now is blue and yellow or or blue and brown. That's a really nice color combination that we're seeing a lot on social media and it's been part of cinema for a very long time. That's a nice color combination. Um you can get kind of a steampunk look with, with green and our cyberpunk with green and pink. Um so a lot of really cool, beautiful color. Carmen is here with the compound colors, sorry, complementary colors. Next we have compound and compound is complimentary with added analogous colors as well. So it gets a little bit complicated, but You get basically complementary colors and analogous color harmonies going on at the same time. So that's a really cool one shades is basically just different shades of the same kind of color, similar to to monotone, but a little bit different. Um and then custom is just whatever you wanna do, you can drag the points wherever you want, etcetera. But the, probably the coolest thing about adobe, color CC is this little camera here in the corner. So if you tap that camera create from image, you go to a photo library and then if you select one of your images, let's find a good image to select here with some some nice colors going on. Um What's will select, select this one. What it's gonna do is it's gonna open that image in the app, but it's automatically gonna select different colors around the image. And that's awesome because now we know you know what colors we're working with, You can use this with with your photos, with with other people's photos and then if you tap that little target on the left again, under save here, um you can select different color moods. So were selected colorful right now you can select bright and it will select the brighter colors in the image. Uh muted, will select kind of the de saturated colors in the image. Deep will select the darker colors um etcetera, but perhaps one of the most important things about this feature is what I'm about to show you now. So once you upload the photo, you click this color wheel back there and it'll take you back to the color wheel and then you see this color that we have in the middle here, what adobe refers to as our base color. Well, this is also known as a key color and that is essentially the color that's most prominent in your image. So once you come back to this color wheel and select your base color, well then you can go and select different color harmonies and that base color will stay the same and it will basically give you other colors that are harmonious to that key color in your image. So then you can go in and try to add some of these colors into your image. And this is such a cool feature for you know, learning what colors will look good with the colors that are already in your image. And it can give you an idea or some inspiration on how to edit that image. And I can tell you that this app has been central for me in exploring color, Learning more about color, learning more about what colors look good together and color harmonies. Um, and just stepping my color game up to the next level. One of the things I also recommend with this is to upload other people's photos. So go ahead and screenshot their photo upload that photo into the app and then do the same thing, you know, explore the different colors that are in their image. You can do this especially with photographers that you really like and photographers that you look up to. And you can also save these color schemes and you can have them all collected if you just sign in with your adobe CC account. Another really cool thing about this app is the explore feature. So if you tap the create button on the top there and then you click explore, adobe is gonna show you a bunch of different color combinations that look really, really cool and they're super inspiring to see because you know, they give you an idea of colors that you can have in your images and I love just just looking at these before I go into editing just so I can get an idea of, of colors that look good together color harmonies, even if it's at a subconscious level, I know that it's helping me um and recognizing the colors of my image and creating something that's visually appealing not only to me but to other people that are going to be viewing my photo as well. Once again it's color dot adobe dot com and it is a resource that I 100% recommend checking out. You don't have to spend too much time on this but I think it's a really great tool for just learning how to navigate color um and understanding color understanding color harmonies um and just overall improving your editing process in general. Another really cool resources you can use for color inspiration. And color navigation is the pantone app on your smartphone. So the pantone app is amazing and it's so artistic and it inspires me so much. So what you can do is you can go to images here in the pantone app, let that load this will have some of your images here. So I'm just gonna scroll down and select, I was playing around with it last night. You can see some of my photos here, I'm gonna select this one. This is a photo I took with my girlfriend here, we're eating some fried chicken in waffles at this cafe. And what it's gonna do is just select a different color palette on the top here, and you can see that color and you can actually click on each color and it will show you what that color is. So it's really cool and it kind of shows you different color combinations in your image, and you can kind of play around with it and get some inspiration here. Um and you can also upload like I said, other photographers images and that is a really good place to find inspiration if you want to learn more about what colors they're using, you can do that, you can click it, you can even see there s Rgb code there. So you know exactly what color they're using, but I also really like this app because you can use it for inspiration. So you gotta images. Um and then you hit the top here and you hit inspiration. It'll show you some really, really cool images with just amazing color. And this is one of the reasons why I love the app. It's just it has these beautiful color schemes that with color combinations that you know, are accomplishing many different forms of color harmony, complementary colors, analogous colors, triage a lot of different, really interesting things like this is a beautiful photo. Look at the colors, it's just spot on and it's totally inspiring to see images like this, especially right before you go into editing gives you a lot of different ideas. Um I can help you in the editing process. I highly recommend I recommend checking out this app. Pantone. You can do some really cool exports to where you have this pantone thing in the middle. It just looks artistic. So check out this app, it's really good for inspiration and finding different color harmonies and just experimenting with different color when you're editing your own photos. Okay, but all that stuff aside, color harmonies and all that. We haven't really talked about color and emotion. And that's the whole point of this video, right, is to talk about color and emotion. So I want to take a little bit to talk about how colors, how they actually make us feel. So one of the first people to actually start experimenting with color and start exploring color and how it affects psychology is this guy named johann Wolfgang von Goethe, I really hope I'm saying that correctly. Um to all you german people, I apologize if I said that incorrectly. But essentially this guy was a german poet, an artist and a politician Who in 1810 he published this, this work called the theory of colours. And the most interesting thing about his work was you know, not the color harmonies that he talked about and things like that, but it was the psychology behind the colors and how he depicted each color as to how it made us feel as human beings. His work was really, really interesting. I highly recommend you give that a read, but in short he broke down each color based on how they make us feel. Um and that was kind of the first time where color and psychology came together and since then this has become a really popular topic when it comes to color theory um and color and emotions. So I'm just gonna go through each color real quick and give it a really quick breakdown based on the emotions are adjectives that you might experience when you see that color. So starting things off with red, it's passionate, it's aggressive, it's sexy, it's intense um it can really add a lot of intensity to your photos um and it's it's a really strong, really bold color. Next is orange, it's it's playful, it's energetic. It's exciting. Um, orange is a really nice color and the complementary color of oranges blue and that's used in a lot of cinematography. So oranges a nice color and it's, it's naturally occurring as well. Next we have yellow, it's happy friendly warming com. We also use yellow for warning. You know, caution tape is yellow. So that's something to think about. But yellow is generally a softer color. Nice to look at, warm tones, etcetera. Green is natural, prosperous, trusting, you know, there's a reason why so many companies use green in their logos or their, or their name is, it's a nice color. It's, it's trusting it's easy to look at. Um, and very natural as well. Blue is serene, trustworthy, inviting. Uh, warm. It's a really nice color. It's a lot of people's favorite color for a reason. Might included. It's just a very nice color to look at. Purple is luxurious, mysterious, romantic. Um, it could be elegant pink. You might use words like young, innocent, calm, perhaps feminine. It's a gentle color. It's a nice color. Brown is natural, earthy, rustic. This is one of my favorite colors in photos because it's so natural. It's so naturally occurring and you're going to have it in so many of your images. Um, and it's just a very nice, comfortable color. Black is powerful, sophisticated, mysterious. It can be scary. Um, black is technically the absence of color, but it can be used as a tool in your photos to guide people's eyes and really add a lot of emotion in your photos, white might be clean, virtuous, bright, hopeful, happy. I mean, it's just, it's just a nice color actually, technically it's not a color, but it is a nice tone to have in your photos. And then gray, which is technically once again the absence of color, it's neutral, it's soft, it's gloomy, it's moody. I use a lot of grays in my photos because I think it can add a lot of emotion and photos and it's just one of my favorite colors to use, you know, in short, you know, each color has very specific emotions that elicits when we see it and something to think about. You know, it's colors on a spectrum. It's very difficult to achieve pure orange and pure blue. You're gonna have colors that are in between those and it's, it's very much on a spectrum that color wheel, you know, there's billions of colors in that color wheel. So finding the right tunes that right balance between, you know, say red and blue, um, will give you a violet that, you know, elicits a very specific emotion. So it's, it's really interesting to think about color and emotion. Um, and I want you to think about it as we're going forward. Um, when you're editing your photos, think about the colors that are in your images. Um, and how you might be able to change them to elicit different emotions, different feelings within the viewer of your photo.