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about the color red???
Old 01-13-2007, 11:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I'm curious about what others think about the color red. For example, red seamless paper backgrounds, or red chairs, red sheets. red drapes, red pillows, or anything red, even clothing. (I'll make the exception to red lipstick). I think red can enhance and detract or distract. Take the Marilyn Monroe picture of her (full body) on red satin sheets, or any of the copy cat images like it. I think that picture is great and very memorable. Excluding B&W images that have something red in them (which I don't care for), there are some images that have red in them and it seems to me to distract for the subject, depending on the image. There is a picture posted here with the last few days where a woman is clutching a red pillow. Do you think the red pillow is distracting? Maybe this isn't the best picture to illustrate my concerns about red being a distraction, as the pillow is very much part of the meaning of the picture. I guess what i'm wondering is if we humans are so sensitive to red, that a photographer would be wise to minimize it's distractive nature, or avoid it completely? Or is it a matter of making sure that the face, or intended point of interest be the area with the highest contrast and/or brightness?
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Re: about the color red???
Old 01-14-2007, 01:23 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The color red, in my opinion, is getting a bad rap here. honestly i think that it is the photographer who possesses the ability to make or break an image by incorrectly allowing too much of a commanding color to be present in a photograph.

i will acknowledge that red is a color that human's can easily perceive, hence why it is one of the colors on a stop light, the main color of a stop sign, and used anywhere people are supposed to pay attention or heed some instruction. red, like all colors (tones) has a conotation that comes along with it. it embodies the feeling of love and passion, very carnal and connected very deeply to the human psyche. it signals danger, warnings, and commands the attention of all humans. red is a powerful color.

However I do think, when a red object dominates an image it is because the photographer hasn't done his/her homework and hasn't properly set up the shot to balance all colors and tones. Since red is such a vibrant and cognitively connected color, using it requires forethought and responsibility.

With that said i think it is important to explain that other colors have this same problem. brown is a depressing color, its tones are gloomy and drab and too much of it an image can set a negative or sad tone. Blue is a cool color that automatically invokes feelings of cold when viewed.

what it boils down to is that as a photographer you have a duty to make sure that the colors in your image are balanced, or convey the exact message you are intending to convey.
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Re: about the color red???
Old 01-14-2007, 08:58 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I think any color can be distracting or out of place if it isn't used properly, and that's all part of "styling."

Styling a photograph is bringing all of the elements together ans making sure they work and the photo flows as planned.

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Re: about the color red???
Old 01-14-2007, 09:41 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I like to use red. I have red sheets and some modern red couches. Red clothes and lingerie are great, and red hair is my favorite color.

I can't see not using any particular color if it fits the scene.
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