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We Live in a World of Color

We live in a world of color. A most powerful evocator, color evokes a range of emotions including lust, anger and fear; instils a sense of calmness, melancholy or happiness; and is used to evoke notions of purity, good and evil. Color signifies the professionalism of a business executive and flags religious identity and nationality.

But what is color and how do photographers deal with it? 

 When we look at a well design image one or more of the following will occur:

¨     Light objects seem to recede

¨     Dark objects seem to advance


¨     Warm colors seem to advance (bright yellow bikini)

¨     Cool colors seem to recede (dark blue sky)


¨     Warm colors excite the eye

¨     Cool colors calm the eye


Understanding and, wherever possible, implementing the above points will help you make better photographs.

Photography is all amount communication and color can be used to tell the viewer where to look and how to feel. Color can be employed to express a particular point of view or to explore a particular mood or feeling. Over the next few days I’II explain several color fundamentals and provide some photographic examples to illustrate these points.


Leica R8 camera with Leica 90mm f2 Summicron APO Aspherical R series lens and Fuji Velvia 100 film

This particular image features the St. George River, just outside of Lorne on the Great Ocean Road, in Victoria, Australia. The image features a couple walking across the River, just around the bend from where it meets the sea. I was travelling home after a sales trip (I operate a small publishing business selling postcards and greeting cards) and noticed the warm, late afternoon light reflecting from the nearby treed slopes onto the River. The mix of the warm yellow and reflected green light produced a wonderful golden shimmer on the water.

I made several images from the side of the road overlooking the river with a Leica R8 camera and Leica 90mm f2 Summicron APO Aspherical lens. Over a period of several minutes I made shots both with and without the couple. Interestingly, it was the human element that made this particular picture the more powerful of the series. While the couple add a sense of scale to the scene, I feel their presence successfully blends reality with the more abstract elements within the image.

With several hours driving still ahead, I felt elated after making this image. It was a great reward for a hard and somewhat rushed day on the road. The experience of being able to record such a fleeting moment, as though between heartbeats, and bring all the otherwise disparate elements together in a cohesive manner really stills the mind. The event was truly serendipitous and I’m glad that my efforts have recorded the moment for posterity.


© Copyright All Rights Reserved

Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography


4 Responses

  1. My my… this is so good. Well worth the hike

  2. Thanks so much for your comment. I appreciate it and hope you’ll return to this site on a regular basis.

    All the best,


  3. Wow what an image! I had to stare for a while to figure out what it was. The people in it definitely add something extra to the image. I think amongst other things, they keep your eye in the image, instead of trailing out of the frame as the eye follows the river.

    I think you may have accidentally put these the wrong way around:
    – Light objects seem to recede
    – Dark objects seem to advance


  4. Hi Suzanne,

    Thanks again for your positive feedback. Its very much appreciated.

    At first I thought what you had written was a correction of my original text. I now realize you were accurately quoting the original text, which I believe is correct. So, to clarify, I think I got it right. I’II do some extra research to confirm. Sorry about any confusion.

    Kindest Regards,


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