How to Use a Limited Color Palette to Create Great Images

Many photographers enjoy using a limited color palette to compose images. There are a number of reasons for this, including keeping costs down and having greater control over the final image. This article will examine how using a limited color palette can lead to images that are strong and compelling.

Limited colors are effective when used sparingly.

If you have an endless amount of money, you can purchase anything you want. The same ideas are applied into the use of colors in photography. Limited palette means that you have to choose carefully what you use. If you use only two or three or five colors in a photograph, you have to make sure they work together to create a strong impression. You need to make sure that the five colors are strong and complementary. This means that each one should enhance or support the other.

Try different combinations.

If you choose to use only five colors or less, try different combinations. For instance, look at different ways of using these three colors in a variety of settings. You might find that they work well together, but are less effective when used separately.

Consider the subject matter.

If you are working with a limited palette, make sure that the subject matter you choose is compatible with it. For instance, if you choose to use only three colors in a landscape, make sure there is a lot of sky to show off these colors. If you are photographing a flower, choose the most brightly colored flowers. If you are shooting a sunset, choose to shoot against a dark, heavily textured background. This way you can use the color palette effectively.

Create an interesting background.

It is often possible to add a little something extra to the scene if you put some thought into choosing a background. If you have a bright sunny day, you can lighten the sky and leave the foreground darker to create an interesting silhouette. This way you can use more colors. If you are in a very colorful environment, you can add some of your own colors.

Do you really need five colors or less?

Using just a few colors is not as limiting as it may sound. In fact, it can sometimes be more effective than using a wide range of colors. As long as the colors you use work together to create a strong impression, it doesn’t matter how many you choose. For instance, if you are working with a limited palette, you can use just three, or as many as nine. This depends on the subject matter, the setting, and your personal preferences.

You can work with a wide range of colors.

If you are not working within a limited color palette, you have far more options available to you. If you want to add a little something extra, you can create the appearance of more colors. For example, you can use a combination of blues, greens, yellows, and reds. Or you could experiment with the effects of different types of filters.

Do you have to work with a limited color palette?

It is possible to create images with a limited color palette that are strong and compelling. Many of the photographs out there were made using a limited color palette. However, this does not mean that you need to limit yourself to just those colors. You can, if you wish, create strong images using a wide range of colors.