You've probably noticed that photographers all have different styles. From the approach we take to composing the shot to the way we handle post processing, it's an art and we all do it our own way. I love the differences you can find when scrolling through different works! It's awe inspiring to see the talent that's out there and the unique ways skills are mastered and reflected in the images. But, if I had to pick a favorite style, it always comes down to colors that pop. It's what grabs my attention and as a result, my work often reflects that preference. Here are 4 ways I like to amp up that vivid shot!
1. Choosing the setting.
Of course, certain seasons are better for putting out that all natural color "Wow" so Fall and Spring are always a great time of year and require little to add color to the scene. A colorful tree line reflecting off of a body of water creates its very own beauty. Some other settings I love are greenhouses, flower fields, and old abandoned buildings that are covered in graffiti art (think Concrete City- PA).
I get bored easily. There. I said it. For that reason, I am slightly obsessed with finding fun new pieces and props to use in my photoshoots. I'm a sucker for a really cool vintage couch... and as you may have noticed, those are usually in a unique shade of material. If I know I will be hosting a studio session, I plan out sets for weeks to ensure that I have fun texture and color to move the eye around the shot. Give me all the ferns and flowers, pillows and soft colorful blankets! If I'm sticking with plain backdrop and no furnishings or props, I really only use black or white, because I really want to make the subject pop and will often use various lighting possibilities to increase the drama.
3. Camera Settings.
The camera will do what you tell it to do (within its specific range of capabilities) so if you want to be able to achieve a certain look, it's also important to consider that when choosing settings and making adaptations for the scene. You can save yourself a bit of headache in post by paying attention to the white balance. Choose the setting that fits your shot. There is a lot of technical vocab we can throw in here, but I'm not about it. Let me give it to you straight, take the picture in a white balance setting you think is appropriate. Review it. You'll notice if it's too yellow or too ....any color. Adjust that and try another until you get it where you are comfortable. Use a neutral gray in your shot because that can help when you get it into post and realize the colors are off a bit. ...Because, yes, you can adjust the balance when you're editing too!
You'll want to make sure you're not overexposing your photo when taking it as well. While, often a darker image can be recovered fairly well, an overexposed one does not give the same leeway.
This is where you can really have some fun! There are presets out there that can help you achieve a certain look, but I find that it's extremely rare that you can simply hit a preset and call it a day. I like to make adjustments manually. The color variations and saturation can be completely altered in editing. An image that already had great color can be enhanced subtly in such a way that you wouldn't even think it had been! Conversely, an image that you may have thought couldn't be salvaged, can often be adjusted with some finesse to brighten and colorize.
Digital photography opens so many doors to creativity and there is just so much you can do from start to finish to create photos you love! While I tend to lean the route of bright, rich, colorful images, I also love how artists create soft pastel looks or dark, muted, moody looks. From time to time, I'll explore something different, but somehow always find myself back in the world filled with color and drama that fills my soul. Beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder!