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Colour Theory & Wardrobe: Unlock the Secret to Mind Blowing Photos



Colour theory.

Sounds like something outside the realm of the average person, right? So why should you care?

Because carefully chosen outfit colours heighten emotional impact and produce stunning photos.

Who doesn't want that?!

This quick blog post will introduce you to the five colour harmonies of colour theory. In future posts I'll get into each colour harmony separately, including wardrobe examples.

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The Colour Wheel

The basis for colour theory is the colour wheel. As you can see below there are six colours in this wheel: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.

These six colours form the basis for the five colour harmonies I'll discuss today: monochrome, analogous, complimentary, triadic, and tetradic.

P.S. I added white to the color wheel above to get those gorgeous pastels. It's been a long winter already and I'm craving spring vibes. We'll use it for the rest of the post.

Monochrome

One (mono) colour (chrome). Simple!

To make the image dynamic, you choose one colour and create contrast using different tints (add white), tones (add grey), and shades (add black).

In this example I took orange from our colour wheel and added blacks and greys.

FYI, black & white photography is simply monochrome on the greyscale.

Analogous

In colour theory, analogous means the colours are next to each other on the colour wheel. Take, for example, red, orange, and purple. They definitely look like they get along.

Complimentary

It should be called "opplimentary", because you’re using colours on opposite ends of the colour wheel.

Here I highlighted blue and orange, but you can use any colour and its opposite. Blue and orange is one of my favourite colour harmonies. I use it in my personal wardrobe a lot!

Triadic

Uses three colours equally spaced on the colour wheel.

Something to note: the more colours you include, the trickier it is to harmonize. I'll be covering each colour harmony separately with outfit examples of each, so don't forget to subscribe below!

Tetradic

Uses four colours, but there’s a twist! There can be 2 pairs of complimentary colours included.

There’s a lot to getting this one right, so stay tuned!

In future posts I'll build on what we learned here; you'll see examples of using colour harmonies to choose your wardrobe!

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Photo of Laurie Neale

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