Emotions and Colour in Photography

These are my research notes as I began assignment three, which I am pleased to say I have finally completed 😀

I didn’t go with my initial idea of just showing emotion, instead I did a magic themed story though a great deal of my emotion research and colour psychology went towards this.

They are a little random but I would like to create a photography project like this some time in the future. Maybe for the portrait and place assignment.



A photo where the model looks away from the camera can be more poignant than starting into the lens – though that conveys emotions strongly as well – Like the analysis of Vincent Van Gogh, straying from the norm immediately resonates and creates questions. Why is this person turning away from you. What are they sad about.

Colour. I analysed photos conveying lonliness and generally cool colours are used, bleaching the colour from the world reinforces the sadness in the subjects heart. In comparison using bright warm colours can create a stark contrast especially if the subject is wearing cold colours showing how the lonliness or sad emotion affects them.

Composition. People gazing out over wide expanses of land are used frequently, which seems sensible especially when they are the only person in the photo. Though it can be used to good effect showing many people and capturing how they are left out.

Lighting. Pre dawn or early evening

After studying these photos the feeling of lonliness crept into my own heart, resonating with these sad images. How can it do that? Is it showing how I sometimes feel seeing my friends and people around me happy and able to run around whereas I am unable to do those things because of my health, therefore a personal relation. Or perhaps the colours and composition work so well they create this feeling around you. It may even be that seeing someone sad automatically makes you feel their hurt or pain. It’s incredible to think how one photo can create so many connections, emotional and cause you to feel the feeling they’re portraying.

Either using cold colours to show the lonliness. I think the bathroom being white would be a good place to set the shoot up and introduce more colours.

On the other hand a different approach would be showing a vibrant colour contrasting with the pale colours a reflection of the persons lonliness.

And now I think onto a brighter subject. Happiness. I feel happiness a lot, it’s such a powerful emotion, can cancel every negative feeling out and it makes you want to sing and dance. I need vibrant bright colours to show this. Glancing outside the daffodils seem to be the best contender. The vibrant yellow contrasting with the vivid blue sky with the subject standing between them perhaps holding her arms out to the sky with a huge smile will show happiness through emotion colour and the relation to happiness on their face.


A feeling everyone feels at one point, fear over the uncertainty of the future, fear of problems at hand, phobias of spiders, open spaces, there are so many. I googled fear and the photos were more than a little disturbing. I want to photograph fear but not in such a violent way. For this I think I’ll focus in on the eyes, hands covering their mouths and cool colours again for the emotion.


Anger is often described as red and it’s easy to see why. Red is the most kinetic of colours, powerful and dominating, grasping the viewers attention. I was researching DOF photos and the creative ways aperture can be used to create interesting photos. Something like the hands held out as almost claws with the persons face blurred though enough to show the emotion. The anger I want to show is injustice at what’s happened to them. Scared at the same time but with anger cancelling it all out. I’m not an angry person not at all but I’ll draw on past experience where my family felt threatened and hurt and capture the horrible emotion I felt at the time. A combination of fear so bad you feel sick, and such rage it swallows you up.


I’m using red to show anger therefore I’ll use pink to show love.

Macro of boyfriend and girlfriend. Perhaps boy stroking lovers head with gentle colours to reinforce the romantic mood. Perhaps a pinkish tint would be handy here, try using a coloured filter, ie, plastic painted with watercolour and placed over the lens.


Drawing on the past experience I felt weak and powerless, an emotion I don’t want to feel. I need strong vivid colours here and the obvious colour seems to be red, the most powerful. Then a clash of another powerful colour like yellow or orange.


Cool colours again here, muted with dull colours. I’ll use similar colours like


Strong magic theme her. Ilona loves this boy but he is interested in another. So she decides to use some magic to make him hers. Shot with Illona lying on the bed dangling finger and glitter in some water, like a crystal ball. Nearby is a photo of Sam, the boy she loves.


So I was going for the angry hands reached out. Other option could be through magic showing red and orange, orange is the powerful magic and red is the anger.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: