My favorite part about St. Patrick’s Day is seeing my little guys get so excited when their milk in their cereal miraculously turned green. Every year, I turn everything I can green in our house so they will know the leprechauns visited. I tell them that the leprechauns must have made a mess while looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. This week, I challenge you to capture your own rainbow. When you get the best color in your photos, your shots really pop and grab your viewers’ attention. Mastering color composition is a ‘Level 2′ photography concept, one step further from leading lines and rule of thirds.

Before we jump into how to get the best color, it’s important that we cover the basics. Let’s talk about color theory for a minute.

Color Theory

This is a color wheel. Each color is presented on the wheel. Also represented on this wheel are complimentary colors. We touched on this when discussing the color green. Complimentary colors are directly across from one another when looking at the color wheel. When you combine complimentary colors, you create a strong contrast in your image. This can either give your photograph a feeling of balance or tension.

You can also combine colors that lie next to each other on the color wheel. These colors are called analogous colors. Examples of analogous colors are red and orange.

Now that you know a little bit about colors and which ones work well together, we are ready to start taking some pictures!

how to get the best color out of your photos

Getting the Best Colors in Your Photos

Week 12: 3/16-3/22

1. Look for clashes. Does your subject and their background clash or are they in harmony? This is where you may need to get a little creative. You may need to move your subject to another setting. For example, if you are setting up a still shot in your home and your subject’s pale skin and peach blouse looks washed out again your white kitchen walls, you may need to move your subject to another room with a different color paint.

how to get the best color out of your photos

2. Adjust your in-camera saturation level. This is something that I always forget and I really shouldn’t! It can make a difference. This can come in handy if you are shooting on a cloudy day. By fixing your saturation level in-camera, you can see the colors in real time. Also, it will save you some time when it comes to editing.

how to get the best color out of your photos

3. Use your white balance. Colors can look different depending on the light. This is where your white balance comes into play. Different sources of light give off different color casts. For example, if you are using fluorescent lights, you will notice your photos may be a little green if your white balance isn’t set correctly. Set your white balance to the correct lighting situation and it will be so  much easier to capture the colors in view correctly. If you are still having a hard time getting the color right, try setting a custom white balance.

How to Get the Best Color Out of Your Photos

4. Underexpose {or overexpose}. Your camera’s light meter tends to be on the brighter end when it reads your light source. This can leave your colors looking a little washed out. If you underexpose your images, your colors will come out richer. You can always brighten your images when post-processing.

How to Get the Best Color Out of Your Photos

5. Change your color space. Most digital cameras are set to shoot in SRGB color. This means that colors are captured for the web. You can switch your color space to Adobe RGB. This will allow your camera to capture colors in a wider variety.

how to get the best color out of your images

Your challenge this week is to to catch the rainbow ad get the best color out of your photos. Make sure you share your colorful pictures on Facebook.


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