New Zealand D-Photo

ELEMENTS OF COLOUR

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There are three key attributes that dictate exactly how a colour will look, and, if you’ve ever used Photoshop, Lightroom, or any other processing software, there is a good chance that you’re already familiar with them: hue, saturation, and luminance.

‘Hue’ is the dominant colour family that a particular colour comes from. Every colour has its root in one of the six primary and secondary colours: red, yellow, blue, orange, violet, or green. The underlying base colour is the hue. When you use a digital editing programme to adjust the hue in an image, you are changing the colours to a different point on the colour wheel.

‘Saturation’ is the measure of intensity of a colour. A very bold colour has a high saturation, while a muted colour has a lower saturation. Playing with the saturation slider in your photo-editing software gives a very clear example of just how different colour saturation­s can change an image. ‘Luminance’, sometimes called ‘brightness’ or ‘value’, is a measure of how bright a colour appears. Again, playing with the luminance slider in your editing software is a good way of illustrati­ng how different colours look at different luminance values.

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