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Saturday, 12 June 2010

What makes a colour

I had a read through the notes on colour theory on the OCA website and through some of The Photographer’s eye to check my understanding of this. Here is just a few notes that I made for the log as a reference.

Primary reflected colours

  • Red – Strong and dense, energetic, warm, hot, passion, aggression, danger
  • Yellow – Bright, vigorous, sharp, cheerful, the sun, radiates light
  • Blue – recedes visually, quiet, darker, coolness, wetness, air

Secondary reflected colours

  • Green – Nature, hope, progress, growth, sickness
  • Violet – Elusive to find & capture, confused with purple, mystery, immensity
  • Orange Warm, strong, brilliant, powerful, fire, celebration, sunrise, sunset

The 3 qualities that define colour


This is how the colour is defined, it’s what gives the colour its uniqueness - It’s how we name a colour. This can be affected by filters, white balance and software manipulation


This is the purity of the colour (hue). From strong intense colours at one end of the scale to less colourful and grey at the other end and can be affected by exposure. 


This is the lightness and darkness of the colour (hue) and can be controlled by exposure and it should be noted that it can differ between hues.

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