One way to make your vacation photographs more interesting is the careful
use of color in your compositions. With color, you can create an image that
contains visual interest aside from the representational elements of the
One method is to look for complementary colors. Simply put, complementary colors are those colors opposite one another on
a color wheel. When positioned in a photograph next to each other, each
color makes the other appear brighter. Look for shots where red and green,
yellow and purple, or blue and orange are found together. Photographs
containing this type of visual contrast are not only more interesting, they
can also highlight a particular subject. For example, if your subject is a
person wearing a red shirt, position them in front of a green tree. Even
at a distance, the shirt will nearly jump out of the photograph. It's this
color contrast that catches your eye.
Similar to the use of complementary colors, is the use of analogous colors.
This means that the colors are near each other on the color wheel. When
presented near to each other in a photograph, they work together in a
harmonious sort of way. Look for things containing red, orange, and yellow;
green, blue, and purple; or yellow, yellow-green, and green when you wish to
include a soothing effect in your photograph.
A final method of using color is the idea that colors can be associated with
warmth and coolness and that they can convey a mood. The warm colors are
yellow, red, and orange. Not only do they convey a feeling of warmth, the
can also project emotional warmth and excitement. The cool colors include
blue, green, and violet, which we associate with ice and snow. These
colors tend to project peace and calm, as well as a feeling of coolness. Turn
to the warm colors in sunsets and campfires, and the cool colors for shaded
waterfalls when you want to capture emotions.
Watch for opportunities to use color. You'll soon find that your friends
will clamor to see your vacation photographs. Well, maybe that's stretching it a
bit, but you will see a dramatic improvement in the interest of your