With a little study of art history and maybe some formal art instruction, color theory is bound to arise very quickly. How much time you spend on it can vary, as color theory collectively covers vast numbers of concepts, and in no small amount. In fact, the study of color theory could have you reading through volumes of information.
When broken down to the most basic facets though, you will be presented with the color wheel first created by Sir Isaac Newton, and what it does, color harmony, and then theories on how colors interact with each other. It’s a whole lot of information that you frankly don’t need to be entirely aware of, but would benefit from learning and incorporating the basics.
In this Phlearn episode, Aaron Nace goes into a little practical knowledge of color theory, and the importance of using its complementary colors to create a compelling image, and how to input those colors using Photoshop. Complementary colors are ones to be found opposite each other on the color wheel, so having a visual reference is immensely helpful. color. Adobe.com is a highly useful resource for just this.
Essentially what you’ll see demonstrated here delivered in Aaron’s hallmark charming and entertaining fashion, is the implementation process of some color theory using Photoshop. Using a screenshot from Adobe’s color wheel site and adding it as a layer to your working image, you can sample the precise colors you want to incorporate from the wheel. Getting this done requires a series of layers and a few small tricks which Aaron will seamlessly teach you how to use.
Whether you want to plan your shoots keeping the color theory of complementary colors in mind, or you want to take one of your photos and make it more memorable and visually harmonious, color theory is something to always consider, and this is great way to implement it after the shutter release button’s been clicked.
As always, if you are a fan of Aaron’s teachings (and who isn’t?), be sure to check back here for updates, and follow along with Aaron on YouTube and Phlearn. You should also consider becoming quickly adept at Photoshop with the Phlearn Photoshop 101 & 201 sets as they are extremely comprehensive, and will have you quickly doing things with Photoshop you may have otherwise thought too complex, or didn’t even know you could do.