Red color in photography

Red color is a symbol of life and action. It is a color of love and blood. It is also associated with warning and anger. It is a warm color of the sun, energy and fire.

Red in photography stands out well on both, light and dark backgrounds. With light background, it suggests romance and passion. Whereas with dark background, it shows courage and sacrifice. It also works well on white or black backgrounds.



Red goes well in subjects like food and fashion photography. Many natural food like fruits and vegetables are red. Even prepared items like cakes and sweets are red. However, red also suggests hot items like chili and pepper. Nevertheless, most of raw or prepared food in red is tempting and tasty.

In fashion photography, red works well, as it is considered as a feminine color. It is used in make up, dress and accessories. Skin tone on red surface looks good and pure red is sometimes used in glamour photography to create a hot sensational image.

However, as a background color, red looks unnatural. It is a surprising color for background as we seldom see red as a background in nature. Only time this happens is at dusk, which is a short time leading toward darkness and symbolize negative energy. For that reason, our mind set for red is towards negative pole, and red does not always work well as a background.

When we have to grab immediate attention of a viewer, red is the first choice. Therefore most of book covers have red as a dominating color.

Lighter shade of red, which is shifting towards pink looses its warmth and energy and considered as baby color.

Complementary color of red is cyan. On CMYK color mode, red is a mixture of magenta and yellow.

Technically it falls in longest wavelength of visible spectrum, in wavelength of 620 to 740 nm. Longer than this wavelength will not be visible to human eye and it can be captured only on infra-red film.

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