Kate Black Designs

art, photography, design, film
Art Design Film

Quick and Easy Color Tips and Tricks for #Film and #Photography

Color in pigment as well as in light changes how we see images and visual information. The study of how colors interact with each other is called Color Theory.

The color wheel goes in the order of the spectrum of light. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet. On the color wheel, colors that are opposite from each other are complimentary colors. Colors next to each other are in the same “family” and are called analogous.

Below are a few tips and tricks for managing color in your lighting and costume choices for photographs or film:

Whether images are still photographs, or video, people in the images should not wear bright red. It is a color that vibrates against grass and trees, because it is a complimentary color. In addition to creating a visual vibration, red reflecting off the person’s skin will make their skin tone appear reddish. Unless you want them to look like they’re having a severe allergic reaction, this is not an ideal skin tone. A dark, non-saturated red would be okay, but not a bright red.

Really bright colors tend to not film/photograph well in multiple settings. If you are stuck, remember to fix the coloration in post-production for photographs. For film, you really need to plan ahead, because fixing these issues in post-production is really time-consuming.

Neutral colors like white, grays, and black are less problematic. If the subject is wearing white (like at a wedding) just make sure you take the time to properly white balance your camera every time you change positions so that post-production doesn’t take weeks of correction.

Other ways to tone down a too-bright shirt: drop a darker, neutral jacket or cardigan on top of it and that will de-saturate or tone down the color. If you have backdrops or props, you can bounce some light off a backdrop or piece of fabric onto the ceiling that is green to tone down reds.

If you have gels available, you can cool down a too warm composition with a cool blue or warm up a cool composition with an orange or yellow gel. You can clip gels to umbrellas and adjust their location to get just the right temperature.

Paying attention to your palette is as important as paying attention to your lighting and focus when you are taking photographs or shooting film or video. These simple tips and tricks will help you during production to make post-production a snap!

May your frames all be in focus and all foreign objects be out of the frame.

Happy filmmaking!


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