Location: Albuquerque, NM
Editing OK?: Yes
Impact of color
Psychological impact of color study.
This came up when thinking about color in my website, which uses mostly black.
A professional viewpoint.
Location: Ottawa, Ontario Canada
Editing OK?: Ask first
Re: Impact of color
I have been into black for decades. First of all, I am a rather big person- black makes me look a bit well- not so big. At weddings, I blend into the shadows and can get lots of work done without being noticed all that much.
In one of my studios the entire show room was black and dark gray. The viewers' eyes went directly to my images on my wall displays- no distractions, now clashing and no worries about disharmony of color. Track lighting illuminated each print.
I have long been a fan of dark frames and mattes. I want my images to be all photography. I have used hundred of wedding albums with black borders and covers.
I often recommend black clothing to my clients when a low key portrait is in the planing stage. Black is simplicity and total elegance.
Nowadays I have no reason to believe that black connotes morbidity, death or is funereal in any way. When we wear black clothing to funerals it is a sign of respect and dignity. In some Oriental cultures "white" is the color of mourning.
On some displays I also like a rich blue. Where traditional portraits are displayed in gold or gilded frames and contain warm skin tones, they are really brought out beautifully when displayed against cold dark colors.
One more note- I do lots of low key photography yet I never use a solid black background. I usually use a multicolored background background with lots of contrast and under-light it. I get an almost black background but with just enough detail to create tonal or color mass. This method look less like a "cut and paste job" and creates the illusion that you can walk right into the image and walk around the subject. Dimensionality is one of my favorite attributes in good photography.
Ed Shapiro - Master Photographer
Last edited by Ed Shapiro; 11-22-2010 at 04:03 PM.. Reason: typo
Location: Lubbock, Texas
Re: Impact of color
Ed, you are soooo right.
My studio website sports a black background and the website I'm designing for the San Antonio Professional Photographers Association has black too.
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