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I recently came across an intriguing word I never encountered – chromotherapy. It dates back to ancient European and Asian culture and uses color to heal. It’s still used today in alternative medicine. In that color is such an integral part of photography, the word piqued my curiosity.


© Russ Burden

Already knowing that specific colors convey specific psychological feelings and evoke certain moods, it made me think more deeply about the relationship. While I’m not convinced that looking at a given color will rid myself of a headache, there are givens when it comes to the psychology of color and how it impacts the way a viewer perceives an image. Therefore it’s beneficial that you, as a photographer, learn its psychological impact to help convey a mood in a photograph.

Orange: Fun / Energy – Orange tends to stimulate activity and one’s appetite. It also connotes a feeling of change – think fall color. If its hue leans more toward the red side, it creates excitement. If it leans more toward the yellow, it’s more tranquil.


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