How to Use Photography to Choose the Perfect Color Palette
Finding the “perfect” color palette for a project can sometimes seem like an unattainable goal. There are so many different options, and so many trends dictating what’s “in” and what’s “now.” So where do you start when you’re just… stuck?
The simplest way I’ve found to resolve my color-curating woes is to reach for a photo that inspires me. Most of the time, seasonal photography, food photography, and floral/succulent photography do the trick, but just grab whatever catches your eye in the moment. This photo spoke to you for a reason. Let it continue to do the talking and help guide your decision making process. To do so, there are a couple tools that can help you out.
The Eyedropper Tool – In Photoshop, or a comparable photo-editing program, there is usually a tool that looks like a little eyedropper. This tool directly selects colors from images and creates a swatch. Place your photo in the canvas and select some of the extremes of your image. You can see how I’ve done so in this example…
The Mosaic Filter – Sometimes using the eyedropper on a raw image is a little too much information to process. There are so many different colors and shades that comprise an image, so why not simplify things? In Photoshop, you can create a “mosaic” out of your image. It isolates the color information down to a handful of swatches, turning the image into a series of colorful blocks. You can see the side-by-side comparison of this technique below…
Existing Palettes and Trends – When you’re own collection of photos isn’t yielding the right results, perhaps it’s time to take a step back and ask yourself if you’re reinventing the wheel. There are hundreds of existing sites that focus on providing trendy color palettes. Some of my favorites are Pinterest, Design Seeds, and Creative Market. Get a little help from your friends!
Color is one of the simplest and most effective ways to create a mood in a project. Picking the “perfect” palette may not be obvious at first, but leveraging photography, and resources others have created to make that goal just a little more attainable is worth exploring. Who knows, maybe one day somebody will be inspired from a palette that you created!
We’d love to hear where you find your color palette inspiration. Comment below!
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