Unless you work strictly with black and white (and even then, for different reasons) color is an imperative consideration in photographic vision. Some of us operate on feeling, sensing which colors feel right for the image, but we can do ourselves a favor by learning a little color theory.

Others have a more analytical, methodical approach to their work, and for them, the thought of using a more scientific method for choosing colors will feel perfectly natural. Either way, learning color theory will help you step up your work.

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For your educational enjoyment, Mango Street has done what they do and put together a short yet sweet video on the topic to briefly walk you through a few different types of color relationships and then demonstrate different photographic outcomes. If the terms complementary, split complementary, triadic, and analogous ring a bell but you can’t quite put a definition to them, five short minutes of your life would be well spent on this video. 

Once the terms are laid out, you’ll see two colors of outfit paired with two colors of background to visually show what a difference in the perception of an image color can make. Then, the best part, you can do it yourself! We’d love to see what you come up with in your color theory practice. Give it a try, and submit to SLR Lounge critique or show off your work in our Facebook community!

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