If you want more bold colors, integrate both red and green into your pictures.
According to the “opponent theory” for colors, the opposing colors, when put next to one another, will intensify both colors.
For example, two opposing colors are red and green.
I’ve been studying great art, graphic design, painting, photography, and nature —and red and green is one of the most bold and enigmatic color combinations.
- Red and green Christmas colors
- Red and green commercial products (Heineken beer, Gucci)
- Red and green logos (Stanford, or Lebanon flag)
- Red cherries or red strawberries with green foliage (perhaps to increase their chances of being spotted by animals to be eaten, and spread their seeds). Natural selection: the more bright vivid red fruits ended up reproducing more.
Red and green in art
Some examples in art:
Red and Green by Leonardo da Vinci
Red and green in Japanese woodcut art
The Japanese did the red and green color theory well:
RED and GREEN, ERIC KIM PHOTOS
Some examples from my photos:
Less obvious examples, where the red (warm color) isn’t 100% red:
Red, Green, Blue (RGB)
In these photos, you can see how green enhances both the red and blue colors of a picture:
- When you have the option, try to pair both red and green together, to enhance the colors of both colors. You can do this especially if you’re doing a model shoot, and can control the outfit of your subject.
- If you want to stand out at a party, wear an all red and green outfit (Gucci). You will certainly catch the attention of others.
- When you’re designing things for graphic design, city planning, or anything that requires the attention of your viewer, pair red and green together.
- If you’re photographing something red, use a green backdrop. If you’re shooting something green, try experimenting using a red backdrop.
More Red and green inspiration
Learn From the Masters of Composition
- 10 Lessons Matisse Can Teach You About Art and Life
- Henri Cartier-Bresson Composition
- 10 Timeless Lessons Edward Weston Can Teach You About Photography
- 10 Inspirational Sergio Larrain Compositions
- 5 Henri Cartier-Bresson Photography Composition Lessons
Dynamic Photography Composition 101
- Introduction to Dynamic Photography Composition
- How to Visually Analyze Your Photography Compositions
- Dynamic Tension: Opponent Based Theory For Photography
- Opponent Process Color Theory For Photographers
- Dynamic Photography Composition 101: Figure to Ground
Dynamic Photography Composition Tips
- 7 Simple Photography Composition Tips
- How to Make Aggressive Photography Compositions
- 10 Dynamic Photography Composition Tips
- How to Make More Dynamic Picture Compositions
- Unorthodox Photography Composition Techniques
- Deconstructed: Saigon Eric Kim Photos
Take your composition to the next level:
- Gestalt Theory
- Center Eye
- Dutch Angle
- Deep Depth
- Leading Lines
- Figure to Ground
- Fibonacci Spiral
- Composition by Eric Kim
Street Photography Composition 101
For distilled lessons on composition, read the free ebook: “The Street Photography Composition Manual.”
Further articles to improve your compositions in photography:
- Composition Lesson #1: Triangles
- Composition Lesson #2: Figure-to-ground
- Composition Lesson #3: Diagonals
- Composition Lesson #4: Leading Lines
- Composition Lesson #5: Depth
- Composition Lesson #6: Framing
- Composition Lesson #7: Perspective
- Composition Lesson #8: Curves
- Composition Lesson #9: Self-Portraits
- Composition Lesson #10: Urban Landscapes
- Composition Lesson #11: “Spot the not”
- Composition Lesson #12: Color Theory
- Composition Lesson #13: Multiple-Subjects
- Composition Lesson #14: Square Format
Learn compositional theory:
- Why is Composition Important?
- Don’t Think About Composition When You’re Shooting Street Photography
- How to Use Negative Space
- Street Photography Composition 101
- The Theory of Composition in Street Photography: 7 Lessons from Henri Cartier-Bresson
Compositional lessons from the masters of art