24 : Vibrant Color


Let's talk color

There is a trend these days for muted, hazy and matte images. Certainly this trend is charming, but it is just that: a trend. On the other hand, a fully saturated image is a style that stands the test of time and captures the excitement and thrill of our world in all it's colorful splendor, without using any special effects.

This week, combine previous lessons in white balance, exposure and lighting while you seek out ways to photograph your daily life at its most colorful!

Here are a few things to bear in mind:

  1. Sunlight is your friend. To capture rich, saturated colors you will need copious light. Even if you are shooting in a shaded area (like the shady side of a building) be sure there is still lots light bouncing around to bring out the depth of your colors.
  2. Color adds dynamics. Colorful images usually feel full of energy and positivity. Match your subject matter to these emotions. Hint: You probably won't be capturing many quiet moments for this lesson.
  3. Some DSLRs have the option to enhance vibrancy as a camera setting. The setting automatically bumps up how the sensor records color and/or saturation.

FOR CANON: Press the ‘Menu’ button on the back of your camera, then scroll through to one called ‘Picture Style’. You’ll notice 6 default picture styles (Landscape, Neutral, Portrait etc) and 3 User Defined.

With a style selected, press the ‘INFO’ button. From there you can UP the Saturation level.

FOR NIKON:  Press your MENU button, then scroll to the camera icon, and you’ll see an option called ‘Set Picture Control’. Choose VI for vivid colors. 


Extra Challenge: You can take a colorful shot, but can you capture ALL the colors of the rainbow? There are two surefire ways to do it.



1. Find the colors artificially, such as in the mural pictured behind the girl in the image here.

2. Find the colors in nature. Think blue sky, green grass, and a whole array of colorful flowers around your subject.

Find your rainbows and share them in the Facebook group!

Creative Prompts

Places to look for vibrant color:

  • Playground equipment
  • Painted murals and walls
  • Gardens, parks and landscapes
  • Splash parks and pools

Check your manual and experiment with this setting if you have it! And remember, if you are shooting in RAW format, you will need to edit your images to bring out the full color levels. 

Share your images!

As always, we look forward to seeing your images in the Facebook group! If you have never posted a picture, it's fine to start any time. The Facebook group is a positive, no-judgement zone. We also hope that reach out for advice or help if you need it!