Part 3: Colour

Having spent a fair bit of time recently working in grayscale, it is almost a relief to be using colour again. In fact colour is now the main theme in this next section of the course. In the previous section, the Elements of Design, colour was excluded to prevent distractions from the other elements, but in this section it becomes the element.

The history of colour in photography, if of course quite short. It is less than 50 years since colour photography became popular and with it came another way of conveying signs and meaning in an image. Use of colour can highlight or distract; it can create different moods and feelings some of which may differ from one group, or culture to the next. We all know (in the UK anyway) that pink often doesn't appeal to men, but it often does to women; how this is used when conveying a message in an image could be important. Another obvious example of how colour can affect the feel of an image is when a blue tint is added - immediately the image feels colder. Similarly, if the image is made more red or orange, it feels warmer. But there are many other interesting aspects to colour and colour relationships which we will cover in this section.