Color! It motivates, depresses, and makes us happy. Marketing companies know the effect color can have on our emotions. Just look how it’s used in print and television ads. Bright colors are usually used to get us to buy—now. More subdued colors are used to relax us and encourage us to come in for that spa treatment. How do you react to these subliminal motivators?

Better yet, how does color affect your photography? How we photograph is reflective of how color motivates us. I like bright bold colors, red being my favorite. In fact, as I write this post, I’m wearing a red blouse. I shy away from pastels, and you’ll never see me wear a soft pink! But, back to photography. My personal preferences are carried forth in what I choose to photograph.

If I see red, I’m going to photograph it. These umbrellas are an example. The umbrellas take up most of the image with a large splash of color. It draws attention and, for me, is exciting.

The canopy below is a much smaller representation of red, but it still caught my eye. It is small and in the background. Even though it’s small, it’s bright enough to pull you into the frame.

A photographed color can be soft and light, creating a sense of calm. Or, it can be bright, demanding our attention. These two flowers are an example of this. The soft pick versus the bright yellow and red. Which suits your mood? I know I said I’m not drawn to pink, but flowers are the exception.

Color can also fill the frame, be solid, or lead us through the frame. The orange pumpkin dominates, leaving me feel excited and wanting to bake pumpkin bread. While the soft yellow on the ground and trees accents the branches and glides us along the pathway, having me feel at peace.

Mother nature often paints her landscapes in duotone so the subject can stand out as does this cypress tree against the blue ocean. I could sit a long time watching the waves crash onto the shore, creating a calmness within me.

Or She paints a beautiful expansive vision of color as these poppies drape the hillside. This wild poppy field left me in awe of nature’s work.

I’m also drawn to rust which has a texture of its own, creating its own colorful patina. I can just feel the age of this wheel and admire its beautiful colors.

Before I close this challenge, I had a bit of color fun by processing selective color. This is the first time I’ve done this. Remember this photo, all that’s left in color are the red umbrellas. If you haven’t processed selective color, give it a try. It is fun!

And then there’s the rare “what is that!”  Sometimes color surprises us. Wouldn’t you stop to take a picture of an old pink barn. Yes, even I did!

This week, show us how color affects your photography. What emotions does it bring to the surface? Which ones are you particularly drawn to? When you create your colorful expression, remember to link to this post and use the Lens-Artists tag.

Thank you, Sofia, for last week’s challenge that explained what bokeh is and how we use it as we photograph. We enjoyed seeing all your beautiful responses. Our guest host John RH, of John’s Space, will be presenting next week’s challenge. Be sure to visit his site.

If you would like to participate weekly in our Lens-Artists Challenge, just click this link and join us:

101 thoughts on “Lens-Artist Challenge #195: Colorful Expressions

  1. Beautiful colorful expressions through you lens, Anne! Love your red images.
    Thank you for taking time to explain colors affect our emotions. The images of the landscape are breathtaking. The age of this wheel is a cool shot, great observation!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Anne! I LOVE color, too! The poppy field is to die for and I love those red umbrellas. I will link tomorrow morning for my Sunday Stills monthly color challenge which ironically is the lack of color (think diamond, quartz).


  3. Like you, I love bright colors. All these goth black outfits are for the seriously depressed – give me a Hawaiian shirt any day. And, like you, pastels seldom find themselves into my wardrobe, and beige definitely is more of a no-no than a pale pink.

    Anyway, you sure had a lot of fun here, and your post was interesting and informative. I know colors do motivate, but never thought about the effect of color to promote a spa. I will say, I really love pink flowers – touched with a bit of gold!

    Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Colorful collection of images, Anne! I especially like that red umbrella image.
    I have done a few selective color images over the years, but lately, I’ve not thought of that as a processing option. You’ve challenged me to see if I can include a new one in my response this week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks John! I’ll be looking forward to seeing your post on Thursday. I think I’ve motivated myself to do more selective color images too. I’ve only done that one in my post.


  5. Hi, Anne. Red is one of my favorites, too. You have a wonderful collection of colors this week and a great challenge theme. Your photos are marvelous. I especially love your field of poppies.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Greetings Anne,
    Thank you for hosting the challenge this week. Your photo are wonderful.
    I want to lie under those colorful red umbreallas and look up.
    I love, love color. As an artist color is ever present in my daily life.
    I hope you enjoy my selections for Colorful Expressions.
    It’s a pleasure to meet you. Have a wonderful week …
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

  7. These are some rather lovely photos.
    They’re all easy on the eye, but I’m drawn most to the one with water.
    That and the rusted… seal? Bolt?
    There’s something appealing about those ones that I can’t quite put my finger on.

    Here’s mine for this one:

    Balmain Boat Sheds


  8. A wonderful and uplifting post, Anne. Beautifully photographed colours – and I agree, red brings me to action too, and taking photos! Your poppyfield carried me away…what a magnificent sight! Rust is also something I look for, as well as soft coloured flowers. I cannot wear red though, but like you, I would never wear pink either. Many colours just look their best in nature. I will see what I can find!


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