Why it’s important to learn color theory as a photographer

Feb 26, 2024

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Why it’s important to learn color theory as a photographer

Feb 26, 2024

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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All of us have a universal desire to improve our photography constantly. However, many of us overlook the crucial role of color theory in achieving this goal. In his video, Blake Rudis of f64 Academy discusses why understanding color is essential on this journey. He explores the limitations of cameras in accurately capturing color, the importance of color in connecting with viewers, and the practical steps involved in creating a color workflow.

The truth about photographers

Blake starts by discussing the universal aspiration among photographers to improve their skills and create better experiences for viewers. However, some of them are reluctant to learn about color theory despite its significance in photography. Instead of learning about color, many opt for quick fixes like buying new cameras or presets. They also rely on software, outsourcing, or even converting images to black and white. However, you can’t escape color theory if you want to raise your photos to a higher level and stop limiting yourself and your growth as an artist.

Why is color important?

Blake further discusses the importance of color in photography. He contrasts what he sees with his eyes with what his camera captures. In this video segment, he gives some examples to show you several scenes and how the camera’s rendition differs from reality.

Blake emphasizes that cameras can’t accurately reproduce colors as the human eye perceives them. You’ve probably noticed this yourself, especially with some shades of purple. Due to this, Blake urges you to understand this limitation and take control of the color in your images. Moreover, creating a connection with viewers through color is crucial for photographic success. And no, it’s not reserved only for color photography. Even black-and-white photography relies on an understanding of color, too. After all, it forms the basis for tonal variations in monochrome images.

Last but not least, understanding and applying color theory helps you form connections with your viewers. There’s a lot of psychology behind the use of color, and proper use of it helps you truly connect to your viewers and convey emotions in your images.

Developing a color workflow and following a correct order

Next, Blake discusses his expertise in developing a color workflow. He teaches you to improve your understanding of color correction, separation, and grading. In this part of the video, he emphasizes the importance of following a specific order—color correction, color separation, and then color grading.

Blake has noticed that many photographers are familiar with color correction, and some may dabble in color grading. However, he believes that few understand the concept of color separation, which can be the most challenging aspect to comprehend. It requires you to go beyond the limitations of your camera’s understanding of color. Blake demonstrates the significance of color separation by showing how it can improve the quality of images.

Perception and color

Blake also talks about the significance of accurately representing luminosity and saturation in images. He uses a perceptual map his colleague Tony G. developed to illustrate the visual perception of color and brightness in three dimensions.

By comparing an unprocessed image straight out of the camera with the finished image, Blake shows how luminance and saturation affect the perception of depth and color intensity. He highlights the importance of color accuracy in conveying the intended visual experience to your viewers. Finally, he points out the importance of combining your artistic vision with technical expertise to get the best result.

[the ABSOLUTE Importance of Color via FStoppers]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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2 responses to “Why it’s important to learn color theory as a photographer”

  1. Evan Splett Avatar
    Evan Splett

    Your YouTube link doesn’t work.
    Try: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ST_22PuNdUk

    1. Udi Tirosh Avatar
      Udi Tirosh

      thansk for the heads up, the video move to private and it is now fix.