where there is culture, the artist sees beauty


an inspirational creative outlet for artists and visual creators focusing on photography and graphic design, as well as appreciating art in culture

color theory in nature


color theory in nature

examining the relationship between color theory in nature, and focusing on the four most essential shades which create the tone of the image

When you are out photographing, elements like subject or lighting are essential for staging a compelling image. Color has the ability to create a visually appealing composition or even fully transform an image in post-processing. You might notice how changing the color scheme of an image has the ability to completely transform the ‘mood’. The tints and shades help create the tone, while the focal point gives the viewer a subject to focus on. In post-processing, it is important to make sure there is a balance between the colors in your image. The science behind using different colors to create visually appealing combinations in art is known as color theory.

Recently, I have been spending a lot of time in nature reflecting, appreciating, and capturing the beauty of Earth on camera. The more time I spent observing, the more I realized how apparent color theory is in natural world, before an image has even been captured or manipulated. Ted Gore, a landscape photographer, describes how color can create harmony in an image:

When it comes to landscape photography, color has the power to both take a good image to great, or take that same image, and absolutely ruin it. Sometimes it is a very thin line to balance on, but absolute ruin can be avoided with a little knowledge of color theory. Color theory is a technique used primarily in the varying fields of the world of art and design, and plays a major role for creating effective color palettes for those particular fields. Color theory is an important component of delivering a message, or otherwise, just making a combination of colors look great together, simply put.

Another aspect of color theory is color harmony, a pleasing arrangement of colors which creates an inner sense of order and balance in the visual experience. These arrangements can be created using a traditional color wheel, or another method as I chose to experiment with below. I wanted to challenge myself to find the four most essential colors that make up the tone of the image. Simply by being part of the image as a whole, these colors create unique color palettes that are all found in nature. Take a look at some of the examples below:

I encourage you all to try and use color theory when creating photographs, and pay attention to the endless shades and tints in the natural world. If you try this exercise, look for the four colors that you feel encompass the overall tone of the image. Why are these colors important? How do they shape the mood? Also a quick tip, the eyedropper tool in Photoshop is helpful to find the exact hexadecimal value of a color in your image.

Recently, I posted a poll on Instagram asking my followers if they wanted to see more illustration and design or surrealism content. Although responses were mixed, majority voted for illustration and design, which I am making more of an effort to incorporate into future posts and projects. If there are any specific topics you want to see covered, please leave a comment or feel free to reach out to me via email! I want this to be a platform to inspire other artists and creators and create a mutually beneficial learning experience. Stay tuned for next week’s artist spotlight….