Possibly the most common question asked during our beginner workshop is: “How do I make my colours more vivid?”. The majority of photographers is trying to get vibrancy in their photographs as we are easily attracted by bold, saturated colours.
This month we will ask you to do the opposite: Look for muted colours to compose your images! Be it abstract, as Debbie Castro’s main newsletter image, or figurative, as the image above taken by students during our Food & Product Photography Workshop, think only pastels and soft tones.
To get naturally muted colours, photograph at dusk or down times. If not possible, point your camera away from sunlit areas and look for shades as sun light makes colours more vibrant.
We prepared a Pinterest board for you with gorgeous colour palettes and inspiring images. Have a look at it before taking your camera out. Autumn colours can also look beautiful in soft tones.
Muted colours are usually described as “soothing”, “neutral”, “milky”, “washed out” or “desaturated”. They lack chromatic content. In painting, they can be achieved by mixing a complementary colour to the colour you would like to mute. If equal quantities of complementary colours are mixed up, the result is always grey.
The same principle can be tried with Photoshop if instead of taking new photos, you would like to mute the tones of images already taken. We share now two different ways of softening the colours in five easy steps using Photoshop.