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Colour Theory and Photography

With the whole internet at our finger tips, the number of images you can search for borderlines on the infinite. But when you throw licensing and image quality into the mix, an image can cause your design more harm than good.

Using colour theory when considering your photography choices for a piece makes it more likely that your piece will look composed and professional, rather than something you put together for homework when you were eight. Here are some quick tips to consider colour theory when using photography in your work.

Go for the Contrast

Black and white works well with bold white text, but adding a pop of colour with some geometric elements can also help unite all the elements on the page. It is an oldie, but a goodie.

Colour Schemes

The same colour theory principles discussed here work when considering your use of photography. If the colour scheme you are working with is more monochromatic ( where the colour scheme stems from a single base hue and extends throughout its shades) or other colour harmonies, you can look for high quality images that match that scheme.

colour theory and photography example

Overlay, over lay!

An overlay is a great way to make the colour theory of your chosen photo work with your design. You can create an overlay by adding a translucent colour in a fill layer above your image. This means you can also experiments with different colours easily. You can also adjust the opacity of the image so that the photography elements stand out or fade away, helping you create the right effect for the message your piece is carrying.

colour theory and photography example

Get the Message

Remember, whatever effect you choose to use with colour theory and photography, remember the message you are trying to convey. Sometimes, designers can get a bit carried away with how awesome certain effects look, but if they are not fulfilling the function of the piece, it isn’t doing its job. Play around but if you are working on a client project, stay true to the objective!

write a clear message example

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