rice grains - food for thought

Monday, August 29, 2005

Speaking with Colour


The first thing that strikes you when you start to analyse these two shots is the use of colour. Colour is very powerful and it impacts on our senses straight away. But what does it mean to you? For somebody from a cold country, yellow and red can mean warmth; if you live somewhere hot, blue and green can spell cool comfort.

The deeper meaning of colour can vary considerably with cultural differences: red can mean danger to one person, yet good luck to somebody else; green has deep religious significance for some people, but others think of it as a calming influence; the colour of mourning is black to some people – to others it’s white.

Some references are universal or have translated to distant cultures: “I’m feeling blue”, “You’re just plain yellow”, “Like a red rag to a bull”, “You look in the pink”, etc, etc. The meaning in each case is explained and qualified by the text.


Colour is powerful – but not universal. Even the amount of colour can influence you subconsciously. Because of the way our eyes work, the brighter the light, the more colour the eye perceives – technical people say a colourful picture is more saturated. Work that through in reverse:

A bright, colourful picture can subconsciously suggest sunshine, holidays, fun. Good news.

A desaturated shot has connotations of dreariness, grey weather, drudgery!

courtesy of http://www.mobifilms.net


  • This is interesting. The facts are pretty obvious but we seldom think of colours from this perspective right? We just accept or take for granted what we see. We can apply this knowledge when we film next. Thanks Reva.

    By Anonymous muru, at 12:50 AM  

  • I never thought in this angle. Pretty true!

    By Blogger Lion King, at 4:56 PM  

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