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colors


Jim Nelson
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Hi,

 

I have a question:

 

Must every color in the frame convey a feeling?

 

For example, we have a shot of a man dressed in orange walking in a green forest. Must the orange of the man convey a feeling and must the green of the forest convey a feeling too?

 

 

Please don't be harsh I'm new at this :)

 

Thanks for you help :)

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Well, in a sense it will no matter what. For example, the green in the plants, depending on it's tone will convey "tree," or "forest," or "lush," or "drying out," "spring," "summer," "nature," etc.. Each of these notions will also have attached feelings, but there is a point where it gets so highly dependent on the person looking at the scene and what they're feeling. Much in the same way, the person in orange, and in what they're wearing, e.g. a hunting suit -v- a zoot suit will also inform our reading of the image. But, keep in mind, in cinema, these images do not exist in isolation, and we must deal with continuity. For example, the guy is in a zoot suit and we see him in a club, and then he is forced out, and then we see him walking through the woods (green). We accept it as normal because the edit has us understanding, he has left the club and is going somewhere through these woods.

Now, the color you've chosen for the actors clothes, assuming s/he is the most important aspect in all this little sequence is what should be giving the information on them, and then when it comes to where they are, well that should give information on them as well. For example the zoot suit guy who just got thrown from the club, well now he feels out of place, and he LOOKs out of place in a wooded area both because of the colors involved as well as what we associate/expect to find in those locations.

If we had a hunter in the same color orange, but a hunting suit, he wouldn't look so out of place in a wooded area, but if he went into the club, he'd certainly stand out!

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Thanks so much for your help :)

 

So basically when you select the objects that you want in the frame, you should think about whether they would inform the viewer about the character and it doesn't really matter what color each object is right??

 

Also can you please help me with my other post softness and brightness of colors? No one has replied yet :(

 

 

Thanks again so much :)

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Exactly, and while color will play a role overall, that of minutia, that is smaller objects in the frame isn't of too much concern, at least in my book. That being said, you can use color to emphasize objects (a bright red object anywhere in the frame, especially if it's the only red object!) will grab some attention as an example. There is a very good book, If it's Purple, Someone's Gonna Die which speaks about color inasmuch as production design is concerned which is worth the read. Remember, though, as always, colors are both contextual and cultural. There's a book on color theory I have somewhere which is used as an introductory text explaining color relationships and the perception of color. A bit dry, but gives you all the activities (and nice color images in the back) done by many an art student to get the usages of colors in their paintings. Quite useful, on occasion. I'll look into your other topic soon.

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