How To Use Complementary Colors to Create a Focal Point

When creating a photograph you will want to make a focal point for the image. The focal point will make your photograph look much more interesting and appealing to anyone looking at it. Choosing complementary colors will make your photos look much more interesting and appealing.

A focal point is the area of the photo or picture where your eye is drawn when you look at it. You have probably noticed that whenever you look at photographs your eye is immediately drawn to the center or subject of the photograph. There are some simple tricks which can be used to create a focal point and one of these is to choose complementary colors.

These tricks have been used for a long time by artists and painters. However, it's also possible to apply this to photographs. Spending time creating your composition can ensure that a focal point is created where required.

Equipment Needed

  • Digital Camera
  • Flash (Optional) 
  • Memory Card

Step 1 - Selecting the Shot

Before you can start working with your composition you will first need to decide exactly what it is you are going to photograph. If you are just trying to find a way of getting some practice then you might consider taking photos of inanimate objects which do not move. This will make composing your shot and actually taking the pictures much simpler since there are fewer things to worry about.

Step 2 - Understanding Complementary Colors

If you intend to use complementary colors to make a focal point then you will need to understand what they are and how to use them. Complementary colors are simply colors which look good next to one another. There are lots of different complementary colors and you will need to think carefully about the ones that you want to use.

If you take a look at a color wheel then the complementary colors will be the colors which are opposite each other on the wheel, these look great together.

Step 3 - Composing your Shot

Now you will need to compose your shot so that you can make it as appealing and interesting as possible. Once you understand the complementary colors you can try to work them into your shot. Dressing people in certain colors of clothing for example which have these complementary colors will be very helpful. You will also find that the colors can be worked into the photo in a number of other ways.

Step 4 - Taking the Shot

Once you have decided how to use complementary colors to your advantage it's time to frame the shot. Work out how you are going to take the photos and then start taking them. As always, it's a good idea to take more than one photo just in case something isn't quite right.

With digital cameras you will be able to instantly review the photo on the cameras screen. If there are too many shadows when taking photos in daylight conditions then you can try turning the flash on to try and even out the colors. Try experimenting so that you can get the most out of your photographs.

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