The Meaning of Colour in Photography

The Meaning of Colour in Photography

Colour in photography could definitely be seen as the most important factor. It can create mood, emotion, warmth, coldness and much more. Colour in an image can also be imperative to the narrative of the image. For example if the image is of a warm beach then warm colours in the image can emphasizes the narrative of this.

Image one interpretations of colours:

color meanings

 As i said some images are made special with the use of colour. this is very apparent in the image below:

Image two:


This image “Red ceiling” by William Eggleston is a great example of use of colour in photography. The image its self is okay. it has a split layout with three leading lines from the wires coming off the bulb which makes it interesting along with the sexual poster we can partly see in the bottom right corner. However i think the red colouring of the walls and ceeling makes this image. the colouring of the walls and celling makes this image look rather seedy. Also the white colour of the wires creates a high contrast with the background of the walls making the image more interesting and eye catching. all together with the colouring of this image, the poster and the lack of a light shade leads me to believe that this picture was taken in a brothel instead of William Egglestons friends bedroom where it was actually taken. however if this image had walls of a friendly colour like blue i do not think i would have come to the same conclusion.

The next image i am going to look at emphasises how colour can be used in portraits:

Image Three:

mccury-steve-42This image “Afgan Girl” by Steve McCurry is a perfect example of how colour can be used in photography to make a highly impacting image. The high contrast between the red and green of her clothing, the green background and the piercing green of her eyes makes this image extremely interesting. in my opinion the use of colour in this image is used more for impact rather than emotion. i think it is the state of her clothing that created this image however the colours impact this further and draw our attention to the narrative. However red is usually used to portray danger and green is used to portay environment so does this mean McCurry used these images to portray a dangerous environment? or maybe this is merely coincidence.

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