Colour: Color and Emotion

Topics: Color, Emotion, Photography Pages: 6 (2225 words) Published: April 15, 2013
Does Selective colour in a photographic image influence the perception of the viewing audience in the sense of manipulating the emotions seen in the imagery observed? With that said, do photographs loose that exact emotion when seen in black and white? Color is defined as “the quality of an object or substance with respect to light reflected by the object, usually determined visually by measurement of hue, saturation, and brightness of the reflected light; saturation or chroma; hue” (quoted from 15/04/2013)

In this essay I will display my research and results of various surveys undertaken, this essay is not only a photographical study, but is also strung together by various psychological concepts and thoughts throughout. Whilst demonstrating the power of colour in photographic imagery, through not only a plethora of opinions, but images and words by some photographic practitioners. The essay in hand will include opinions sourced from my own surveys as well as from various audiences whilst also running off interviews and answered questions by various respected photographers & artists. Before answering the question in its entirety there is sense in breaking it down into small building blocks, which are integral to establishing the question; Does Selective colour in a photographic image influence the viewing audience in the sense of manipulating seen emotions in the imagery viewed? To answer this question, in preparation to maintain a steady flow of research I conducted a survey. This survey was shown to an array of different aged and different background of viewers, the survey was one particular image, with the question "What emotion do you see in the face of the girl?". This image had different colours casted over it for different people, there was 4 different colours, shown to 20 unique people. (Image shown below)

-Image taken by Guy Aroch, (sourced from 30.03.2013) The survey was conducted to investigate what emotions people see and if there is any correlation between colours and emotion. The image chosen was very specific to having a blank emotion that perhaps could be manipulated by the mind easier than most other images, this was used so that to give my research an edge and perhaps good varied correlations. The colours chosen were Blue, Red Green & Yellow, an intention was to stick with three primary colours, but adding a forth colour would balance the investigation and would allow a balanced amount of people to answer each colour. Green is also a secondary colour and being honest I have to say I was intrigued to find out what would happen.

After looking at the survey results, it seems the research and study has shown to my aid, there is a positive correlation that colour does have psycological influence and it does affect thought patterns and reading emotions. This tells me that emotions can be read & are affected around different coloured surroundings. This aquired knowledge that lighting can transform an image in terms of manipulating emotions and misleading viewers to how they should feel. After evaluating and looking over the answers of which were recieved, there are some very interesting and notable patterns, For instance; Red seems to project determination, ambition and distraction. I naturally assumed red would give the sense of anger and hatred, for instance red is often associated with evil forces, with death and blood, however this obviously was not the case. Blue seems to provoke, Sadness, Annoyance & worry which was expected to a certain extent however, on the other hand; the colour casting of green really surprised me with fear being the highest answer by the surveyed audience along with hate & lust. After re-assessing my predictions and looking at what is associated with green my surprise turned into acceptance as Green is the colour of poison, snakes, reptiles & disease, more than enough reason to be fearful. Still, the initial...
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