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Use Color to Compose Your Photograph

Color is another element you can use when composing your digital photographs. The human eye is drawn to warm colors like reds, yellows, and oranges before it recognizes cool colors like blues, cyans, and greens.

The trick is to recognize the colors in the scene you’re about to photograph and notice where they are. After you recognize the colors, it’s time to arrange them in the viewfinder to lead your viewer’s eye to where you want it to go.

Use the bright colors as focal points and position them to lead your viewer through the image. The warm areas of the image are visual clues to the story you’re telling.

This is a situation when you can combine composition rules. Position an object with a warm color on a power point according to the Rule of Thirds. Compose your photo so that the cool colors are at the edges of your image. This acts as a natural vignette to keep your viewer's eyes in the image.

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Color can also be used to convey mood. A photograph that is predominantly red and black portrays power or mystery. A photograph with greens and blues conveys a tranquil mood.

Avoid conflict; remember that the eye is drawn to warm colors before cool colors. When a bright area or warm color is not the center of interest in your image, recompose the image to move the bright area or warm color out of the frame.

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