Color Study

This week we were asked to do a color study. We were to take at least four different shots that all incorporate a particular color and to use an Aperture Priority setting to start learning the manual settings of our DSLR.


Summer is slipping

There is a tree in my work parking lot I have been dying to shoot lately. The first day of school, I parked in that lot, and the sun was coming through the trees perfectly, drawing my attention to the newly-yellowing leaves. I waited patiently for a few more days to more vibrantly draw color out of the foliage, then went to capture it late Friday afternoon to early evening. The sun was low but not quite over the horizon, creating a perfect line of light through the lower leaves of the tree. I was able to up my aperture a little to capture multiple layers of leaves in definition, and overall caught three branches overlapping while still framing the sun coming through. I originally tried my macro lens, but was able to frame the shot better with the kit lens. Post-camera, I adjusted levels, added a little vibrancy and saturation, and I popped a bit of a yellow hue out of the leaves to emphasize the color study. I really liked the red and orange that originally came out, but it defeated the purpose of the activity to keep it at that level. I also used the spot healing/band aid tool in Photoshop to remove the light post so it wouldn’t be distracting.

Setting: Aperture Priority

Fstop: 16

DTP: Purrington Plaza parking lot; Rexburg, Idaho; late afternoon (~4:30 p.m.)

Camera: Canon SL-1 with Canon 18-55 mm. kit lens.


Not as young as I used to be

As I was driving over to shoot the tree mentioned above, I noticed a large yellow construction dumpster in a parking lot. On the way back, I stopped somewhere between 5 and 5:30 in the evening. With it being mid-September, there was a lot of good golden light pulling the orange-yellow hue out of the dumpster. I was drawn to the wear and abuse in the metal, and enjoyed focusing in on that. I previously didn’t know how to use my aperture to blow out the background, and focused on using a lower aperture setting to create strong focal points from the skin of the dumpster. Editing I bumped levels a little, and then popped some vibrancy and saturation and was happy there.

Setting: Aperture Priority

Fstop: 5

DTP: Random parking lot; Rexburg, Idaho; ~5:00 p.m.

Camera: Canon SL-1 with Canon 18-55 mm. kit lens.


Age spots

This photo was taken on the same dumpster as the above picture. There was a ladder going up the narrow end, and originally I was planning to climb up and shoot down the ladder. It felt a little precarious up there, though, and on the way up I noticed these large spots where the paint had flaked off, and there was this high-contrast oxidized metal underneath. I got in close and, practicing that blown-out background technique, I was able to isolate those spots and use leading line to draw into the good sunset light. In post-production I did bump levels, vibrancy, and saturation again, and it brought a weird greenish-yellow color out of the grass in the background. I isolated the grass with the square select tool, and knocked some of the vibrancy back down to make it less distracting.

Setting: Aperture Priority

Fstop: 4

DTP: Random parking lot; Rexburg, Idaho; ~5:30 p.m.

Camera: Canon SL-1 with Tamron 70-300 mm. macro lens


Where the sidewalk ends

I completely get that nobody has any idea what this picture actually is, and I’ll admit I enjoy that. You know how power poles have these stabilizing cables coming off of them? They go down into the grass between the curb and the sidewalk, and they put yellow tubing down the last six or so feet so people don’t run into them accidentally (or so I assume). I shot down the length of the yellow tubing, figuring that the contrast between the yellow and the green of the lawn would make an interesting picture. I also used a low aperture setting to focus on the distressed spot on the side of the tubing, facilitating more of an abstract feel to the shot. Post production I bumped levels, vibrancy, saturation, and added a touch of brightness.

Setting: Aperture Priority

Fstop: 4

DTP: Mesa Falls Apartments; Rexburg, Idaho; ~5:45 p.m.

Camera: Canon SL-1 with Canon 18-55 mm. kit lens.


Scared of heights

I feel like this was my most adventurous shot. There are dumpsters at my apartment complex that are surrounded by a three-sided nursery stone wall. In front of the wall, there are two yellow pillars designed to keep people from side-swiping themselves on the nursery stone edge. I actually climbed up the dumpsters onto the wall (while balancing my camera around my neck) and sat on the edge with my feet on top of the yellow pillar. I took several shots straight down, with some good sunset lighting coming from the right side of the shot (it was right around 6 p.m.). I took a couple shots with low aperture, but it completely sucked the feeling of being high-up out of the shot. I adjust my aperture to a higher setting so the ground would also be in focus, adding a little of the depth I was hoping for. Post-camera, I simply bumped levels and vibrancy. I also brought up the contrast a hair to pop the black and white in the shoes.

Setting: Aperture Priority

Fstop: 22

DTP: Mesa Falls Apartments; Rexburg, Idaho; ~6:00 p.m.

Camera: Canon SL-1 with Canon 18-55 mm. kit lens.


Would you love me now?

I had a good selection of flowers to pick for this shot. Most of them were pretty perfect and would have set up just as well as this one. However, this flower had a mutilated petal that captured my attention. I think that we all strive for perfection, but often upon arrival we find it to be more sterile than we had hoped. I think the imperfection of this particular flower made it unique to me, and I liked the underlying message in that train of thought. Also, this shot gave me a chance to once again practice using a low aperture setting to blow out the distracting background on a close-up shot. I was also happy about how this particular framing came together. And once again, I mainly just bumped levels, vibrancy, saturation, and a touch of brightness.

Setting: Aperture Priority

Fstop: 5

DTP: Mesa Falls Apartments; Rexburg, Idaho; ~6:30 p.m.

Camera: Canon SL-1 with Canon 18-55 mm. kit lens.


On the horizon

I figured I was just about done with photo adventure for the day; it was hovering around 6:30 in the evening. As I was beginning to walk home though, I noticed a construction site across the street from my apartment. Initially I approached because there were various bright yellow-orange construction vehicles left unattended, and there was great sunset lighting I figured I could utilize. Up close, though, I realized there were several uniform mounds of soft earth and loose stones capturing the soft light that created an interesting scene I probably wouldn’t find elsewhere. I had a lot of fun with trying different aperture settings and angles to capture the repetition and texture of the scene. Also, the golden light created an overall yellow hue that tied this shot into my yellow color study as well. Post production I simply bumped levels, and left it as-is so I wouldn’t take away the natural feel of the lighting.

Setting: Aperture Priority

Fstop: 5

DTP: Construction site; Rexburg, Idaho; ~7:00 p.m.

Camera: Canon SL-1 with Canon 18-55 mm. kit lens.


2 thoughts on “Color Study

    • Thanks! I liked your red pepper shot because, and I mean this nicely, it’s getting old and wrinkly. I think that adds cool texture I would never have considered capturing. I appreciate the feedback though!


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