Advance Your Idea… Warmly?

The Point of Greatest is without a doubt one of the most powerful concepts in controlling the movement of the viewer’s eye.  When the Center of Interest is the lightest in tonal value or brightness of color it will be noticed quickly and recognized for what it is: the point of your image’s message.

Now, let’s take it a step further.  Let’s apply it to color.  Right to the point, warm colors advance, psychologically.  They tend to come  toward us and be noticed quicker than other colors.  BTW: a warmer color is one that has a “significant” amount of yellow in it.  These are the warmer hues of red, oranges and, of course, yellow.

That said, the opposite is equally true: cool colors recede, psychologically.  They tend to move away from us and are not noticed as quickly as other colors.  Cooler colors are the ones with a “significant” amount of blue.  These are the cooler hues of purple, greens and, of course blue.

A student asked me just yesterday if the idea of advancing and receding applied also to white and black.  The answer is yes, that white or lighter tones advance and black or darker tones tend to recede from us.

Look at the photo above.  Notice which objects “jump out” at you and which ones are less noticed.  Point made?  Ever shot a photo of a building with its lights on at dusk or night?  The warmer colors of the lights project toward us; it’s not just that they’re brighter – their yellow-ness is what does the visual “yelling.”

YOUR ASSIGNMENT: (1) Shoot a Center of Interest that is lighter in tone or warmer in color than its surroundings and background.  (2) Now shoot a C of I that’s darker in tone or cooler in color than its surroundings and background.   (3) Which shot is more visually compelling?  (Visual and emotional appeal are NOT the same.  Emotional appeal has to do with choice of Subject Matter.)

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