Sunday, October 9, 2016


Sometimes when you look at landscape photos, sometimes some of the best photos you will ever see is those with COLOR.  So, I have two articles with ideas of how to get the "color" into your landscape photos.  That does not always mean that is what everyone likes, but, it is certainly one of the most desirable photos that end up on the wall.   Look at landscape photos that have a lot of rich colors in them and your feelings will stir your soul for sure. 

I am going to give you two (2) articles about how to get the color into your landscape photos.  Two different ideas.   I see one of our local photographers who follows these ideas to perfection.  So, with that here are some ideas of how to do this:

BY:  Ron Bigelow

Color is one of the most obvious elements of composition. Everyone knows that intense colors make people take notice of your images. Ever wonder why there are so many sunset and flower shots? Color is the reason.

Color has a couple of functions in photographs. First, color grabs the attention of the viewer. Perhaps, because this function of color is so palpable, many photographers miss the more sophisticated, and in some cases far more powerful, function of color: color sets the mood of an image. Since color is such an important compositional ingredient, the experienced photographer will want to use color to its fullest extend — incorporating both functions of color into images.

Utilizing color to grab attention is often rather straight forward. Generally, what is required is a saturated or intense color. This type of color tends to grab the viewer’s attention and focus it on the area of color. Furthermore, the color tends to keep the viewer’s attention for an extended period of time. When the viewer’s eyes do wander, the color tends to bring the attention back.

Photo by Stanley Zimney; ISO 64, f/4.5, 1/170-second exposure.

There are a couple of primary ways to use color to grab a viewer’s attention. The first way is to use very saturated, bold colors. An example of this approach would be a dramatic sunset. The second way of using color to grab a viewer’s attention is to use a mix of contrasting colors. An example of this approach would be an image of fall colors where there is a combination of red, orange, and yellow leaves.

Setting the mood through the use of color tends to be a more subtle application of color than when color is used to grab the attention. However, that does not mean that it is any less powerful.
Different colors elicit different moods. Since there are a huge number of colors, it is not possible to cover all of the colors and their impacts on viewers’ moods in an article such as this one. Instead, a few colors will be reviewed in an effort to convey how colors affect viewers’ feelings.

Blue tends to bring forth feelings of calm or cold depending on how the color is used. This is a reflection of how we perceive the color in nature: the deep calm ocean is blue, peaceful cloudless skies are blue, and large amounts of ice have a blue tint. Therefore, a photographer that wishes to create a feeling of calm in an image should include blue objects in the image such as a peaceful blue stream or a blue lake.

Photo by Jim Denham; ISO 1600, f/8.0, 8-second exposure.

Green often communicates a feeling of lushness and freshness. Again, our feelings about this color are tied up with how we frequently experience that color in nature. We tend to associate green with spring and new growth. Green is frequently used in landscape photography. Green meadows, plants, and fields can be used to convey the mood of a flourishing scene.

The last colors to be evaluated are the warm tones: yellow, orange, and red. These colors are associated with feelings of warmth and comfort (again the colors are tied to how we experience them in nature). Sunsets are a perfect example of how these warm colors create a comfortable feeling. Photographers that wish to take advantage of these colors can include, in their photographs, objects such as flowers, plants, food, and rocks that contain these colors.


So far, we have looked at using color to create mood in photographs by means of including objects, with the appropriate colors, in an image. However, there is another way to use color to create mood in an image – the use of light. Early morning and evening provide a photographer with colored light which can be used to powerful effect in images. Before sunrise and about twenty minutes after sunset, everything is bathed in a soft blue light. This light can be used to create a calm mood such as an early morning shot of a beach bathed in the cool, blue light.

Photo by J J; ISO 100, f/4.0, 1/60-second exposure.

Just after sunrise and before sunset, the light is often very warm with red, orange, or yellow hues. This light can be used to create feelings of comfort such as a beautiful mountain peak bathed in a soft, warm, golden light.

When properly utilized, color can be one of the most effective methods of conveying mood in an image.

About the Author:
Ron Bigelow ( has created an extensive resource of articles to help develop photography skills.


By:  Dzvonko Petrovski

Lacking inspiration for some landscape photos? Well, if you take the advice Janez Tolar offers you, you’ll be in for some great shots:

Tolar chases sunrises while others still sleep and dream. At the earliest hours, he’s already out there hunting for images. And he thinks you should do that, too. Landscape photography is best accomplished before, during, and right after sunrise.

In the period before sunrise the light is nice and even, with great color gradients in the sky. The time during and right after sunrise is perfect for dramatic high contrast shots that catch the viewer’s eye every time.

Before you head out to photograph the sunrise, you’ll probably want to get a gradual neutral density filter in order to gain exposure in the shadow areas of your images while also having the sky exposed nicely. If you’re planning to shoot near water, a circular polarizing filter is a good addition; it gives you control over the reflections generated by the sunrise.

Photography aside, the peace and quiet before sunrise—while everybody else is asleep—will clear your mind and boost your productivity.

After watching Tolar’s beautiful video, Before You Wake Up, you might just want to get out of bed early tomorrow morning.
“I wake up early, so I can wake the sun up. Not the other way around.”

Just to add some comments to these two articles:  I think that as a photographer, you really have to work hard and think about the photos that you take.  And if  you really want the best photos, better than the other photographers, you either have to get up early, or stay late to get the color right, and more exciting.    Great stuff. 

Entertainment & learning for the photographer

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