Find Color Theory In Nature

I was at the Library today skimming through a random book I picked on Color. Here’s something interesting to consider when you’re out there exploring God’s creation.

Much of what is relevant in color theory is revealed in what we see around us. If you delve into nature photography like I do, you’re privy to seeing color theory play out in the plants, the sky, the weather, and animal life. No photographer had to arrange the scene—it’s simply there for the viewing. You’ll see a great deal of analogous colors, such as different hues of greens and yellows in grassy plants and even among animals that blend in with their backgrounds. You’ll also be able to identify colors that contrast greatly against each other, such as bright, energetic red, yellow, and orange flower petals that vibrate against darker greens, reds, and browns. Different layers of the landscape will reveal different relationships between color that we can reference with knowledge of color theory.

The next time you are out shooting nature—oriented images, spend some time concentrating on observing how basics of color theory are all around you. Key in on this imagery, and you’ll appreciate working with color even more than you already do. Of course, you don’t necessarily have to visit the great outdoors to study color theory with a camera in hand. You can put theory to practice in any setting! But nature has done a lot of the color composition for you and has plenty to teach about what works.

Jerod Foster (Color: A Photographer’s Guide to Directing the Eye, Creating Visual Depth, and Conveying Emotion)