Before you can learn how to use color in your photography, it's important first to discuss how different colors are categorized in relation to color theory. As we go over the different ways color can be classified, we'll often be referring to the RGB color model, more commonly known as the color wheel.
Let's start with analogous colors or adjacent colors on the color wheel. Analogous color combinations can consist of as few as two colors or as many as half of the colors on the color wheel.
Complementary colors are two colors on the wheel that match well together by enhancing and emphasizing one another. On the color wheel, complementary shades are colors that are directly across from each other. Respectively, these color combinations are: yellow and purple, red and green, and blue and orange.
3. Split Complementary
When talking about split complementary colors, you'll be speaking in terms of your color palette more often than not. This is because split complementary colors are color combinations that include at least two complementary colors and at least one analogous color. For example, A palette of split complementary colors might have a mix of orange, blue, and yellow shades.
To offset overly contrasting complementary colors, try sprinkling in an analogous color to create a more harmonious combination of split complementary colors.
Similar to split complementary colors, triadic color combinations incorporate several colors on the color wheel to form a balanced color palette. Triadic color schemes are made up of three evenly dispersed colors on the color wheel. Perhaps the most well-known triadic color scheme is that of the primary colors blue, red, and yellow.
Now that you have a more thorough understanding of how color is categorized let's dig into how you can use your newly acquired knowledge to improve your photography.