How color can affect mood

Shekinah Shazaam Photography · April 08, 2018 · Blogging, Editing, Photography · 0 comments

Before you begin experimenting with different color temperatures, you need to determine what you want to communicate. Romantic or feminine feelings are typically associated with very warm images whereas edgy and Avant-garde photos are usually on the cooler side.


There are many ways you can alter the overall color in a scene.


In the scene

You decide what the backdrop is & what the subject wears which could wind up contrasting or complementing. You could pick a monochromatic scene with only 1 color feature like I did here:


Light Modifiers

A popular option a lot of photographers use are colored gels. These thin cellophane-like sheets can clip over their lighting set up and provide varying results with relative ease. I haven’t personally experimented with gels, but I know they provide some interesting results.


Camera White balance

In your menu there are options for auto, daylight, shade, etc. You can also do a custom WB by taking a picture of a plain sheet of paper and using that as a reference for the scene. Most recommend trying to get accurate white balance, especially if you are trying to show true color rendition. However, if you know you are going to want a warmer or cooler final image, you can start the process here by choosing the appropriate setting.


Software White Balance

Once you’re done shooting and you upload your images, here you can go even further. As shared in my editing workflow, I start in Bridge, and then move to Camera Raw, then finally Photoshop. I highly recommend shooting raw to begin with as it makes altering white balance (as well as everything else)  after the fact so much simpler.


Software Editing

Another way to alter or enhance the color is to add different layers or adjustments to your image. Experimenting here is always really fun; you may even have a harder time deciding which combination is your favorite!


Once you decide how you’re going to go about editing your image’s color, you need to see if it is communicating what you originally envisioned. Here are some color associations that are usually taught in most visual communication programs.


Red- passion, love, rage

Orange- vitality, energetic, fun

Yellow- happiness, carefree, warm

Green- nature, Eco-conscious, health

Blue- calming, professional, cool

Purple- royal, luxurious

Pink- feminine, youthful

Brown- earthy, neutral

Black- sleek, ominous, neutral

White- clean, innocent, neutral


There are of course many more colors to choose from, these are just some of the most used. Try mixing and matching different colors in your photography to see what best communicates your vision.



May the light be with you.







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