The mood and meaning in colors

Mood in photographic terms is simply atmosphere, attitude and character. Expressions in portraits and images of people evoke emotional moods. The general feel and look of a place create a climate and a general mood of the environment. Mood in an image is highlighted by the thoughtful use of colors.

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An overwhelming use of blue (as in the sky and sea in the picture above) connotes calm and peace and freshness. Pair that with a complementary color of yellow as in the boat, and you have contrast both in color and subject. Colors have meanings and they excite, attract and influence. Which is why there is a whole science on color management, theory and concept because the proper utilization of color creates a positive emotional response. Let’s refresh ourselves on colors and the meaning they carry:

Green – balance, growth, harmony, renewal, restoration, abundance, nature
Blue – peace, calm, tranquility, devotion, truth, direction, order
Red – action, energy, speed, confidence, passion, courage
Yellow – optimism, cheerfulness, enthusiasm, fun, originality, academic, analytical
Orange – optimism, enthusiasm, cheerfulness, flamboyance, creative flair
Indigo – sincerity, integrity, idealism, faithful, ideal, responsible
Purple – inventive, intuitive, selfless, unusual, creative, humanitarian, mysterious
Brown – wholesome, down-to-earth, friendly, reliable, warm, earthly, sensual
Pink – romantic, sweet, feminine, nurturing, compassionate, understanding
Gray – elegant, dignified, neutral, impartial, professional, mature, intelligent
Silver – soothing, dignity, glamour, self control, sleek, hi-tech, scientific
Gold – abundance, wealth, wisdom, charisma, optimism, positive, masculine
White – innocence, purity, cleanliness, equality, self-sufficient, pristine, open
Black – protection, comfort, strong, contained, formal, sophisticated, seductive

These are but some of the psychology and positive traits of colors. What does this mean in our photography? Be attentive, observant and thoughtful in your use of colors in your images. They will induce a response and reaction, mostly in a positive sense. But such reaction will be deeper and richer if colors are presented beautifully and are part of a well composed image.

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3 responses

  1. I’d chuck emotion in with the blues theme… From a spiritual perspective it’s all about the watery ebb of our feelings. Great post, thought, JJ! 🙂

    March 11, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    • Junsjazz

      Blue happens to be universally the most liked color. Thanks Richard! Best regards!~JJ

      March 11, 2013 at 1:43 pm

  2. So beautiful colours!

    March 16, 2013 at 6:57 am

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