Color Photography Explained: simple tips for making your brightest-ever images

What is color gamut?

Color photography. We kind of take it for granted, don’t we? From cameras with better dynamic range to simple photo editing methods for improving – and rescuing – our tones, many of us leave color as an afterthought.

In the first of a new series here on Digital Camera World, we’re going to explore color photography in depth. We’re going to answer every question from what is color temperature to what are complementary and clashing colors, to best methods of using filters and software to fine tune your tones to get the color photography you want.

This week we’ll start by demystifying color temperature, color spaces, gamut and some of the other common color photography jargon you may have heard but always been confused by.

Color Photography Explained: simple tips for making your brightest-ever images

Digital cameras offer today’s photographer incredible flexibility. No more carrying two or more SLR bodies loaded with different film stocks, or a bag of color correction filters to counterbalance unwanted color shifts in different lighting conditions (well, you can still carry filters – more on that later).

You can now add color, take it away, make it subtle, make it vivid, make it colder, make it warmer – all in a matter of seconds using a single camera. To create unforgettable images though, you still need to understand the basics of color theory.

You need the ability to judge the color of light and a knowledge of when you’re camera’s going to get it wrong.

This series gives you all the information you need to start taking more control of your photography. We show you exactly why certain colors combined in a single frame can be used to increase the power of your shots, while others can turn perfectly composed, beautifully exposed photographs into painful viewing experiences.

You’ll also find a useful guide to Photoshop’s color enhancement tools towards the back of the back – see what can happen when you go to extremes…

Awareness of digital color photography

Awareness of digital color photography

We see the world in color,  and it’s often color which attracts us as photographers. An understanding of colors – which colors contrast with each other, and which work in harmony – can help you produce better photographs.

It’s always been important to develop an eye for color, and for subtle shifts in the lighting at different times of day, and getting accurate color is particularly important if you want to reproduce the subject exactly as you saw it.

Digital photography adds an extra dimension, of course. It’s now possible to alter colors after you’ve taken the photograph, and with far more subtlety, speed and control than in the past.

PAGE 1: Awareness of digital color photography
PAGE 2: Warm vs cold color
PAGE 3: The color of natural light
PAGE 4: What are color spaces?
PAGE 5: What is color gamut?
PAGE 6: What is bit depth?
PAGE 7: What is color temperature all about?

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