Friday, February 02, 2007


I’ve been reading a book on colors. I’m not planning to embark on any painting or redecorating projects; the intension is to hone my skills in the use of colors when composing and photographing certain subjects. Colors, after all, are what we first notice. Certain color combinations can dazzle, soothe, or charm, while others can raise our blood pressure.

For example, hot colors such as red orange and yellow tend to stimulate the brain and raise pulse and respiration rates. The reason is that these colors have the longest wavelengths which require energy to view them. In contrast, cool colors such as blues and greens tend to calm and soothe — even slowing the metabolism. That is because they have the shortest wavelengths and easily enter the eyes.

Last week, I ran into Issa, a classmate at my basic photography workshop, at Fuji/YKL photo print shop. Issa is a Fine Arts graduate and well-versed in the psychology of colors. While waiting for our prints, she gave me an overview of the importance of using red as an accent to any pictorial composition — scarf, hat, flower, or bag.

The book I'm reading underscores her claims. According to Tina Sutton and Bride Wheelan, authors of The Complete Color Harmony, red grabs your attention; making it a popular color in consumer products (Coke) and safety products (fire extinguishers and exit signs).

Furthermore, the reason why the color red is widely used by the fast food industry is because it activates our salivary glands; making us hungry and also straining our eyes so we’re encouraged to eat a lot and leave quickly. Meanwhile, the gaming industry knows that people place larger and riskier bets made under red lights, so they’re often strategically used to illuminate a casino's high-stakes area.

Red also evokes intense emotions. Foremost of which is passion; thus, the prominent color for Valentines, as well as a monicker for districts that cater to the sexually-starved — red light. Red clothing also suggests an extroverted and flirtatious attitude.

Once in New York, I was surprised to discover that my friend and his wife had given their bedroom a complete makeover; getting rid of anything red and repainting the walls and ceiling with a flat dark green color. My friend claimed that the reds (sheets and decorative accessories) caused difficulty with his falling asleep; whereas, dark green exudes warmth and serenity. It wasn't until we were in the bedroom for a few minutes when I began to appreciate the soothing effects of the dark green color. Ah, the psychology of colors!

Incidentally, Manila Bulletin runs a regular photo contest which is open to all photography enthusiasts. The theme of its February-March contest is Red and Green. Contact Ronald Jayne for additional information.


The Complete Color Harmony
By Tina Sutton & Bride M. Whelan
Page One Publishing

Manila Bulletin Picture Perfect Photo Contest
Contact: Ronald Jayme
Telephone: 527-8121 ext. 384

posted by Señor Enrique at 10:13 AM


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I would not deny that colors do affect the way we feel or see things. It's important to me. Hehe.

Are you planning to join the photography contest?


February 02, 2007 10:56 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or maybe they got rid of the colour red because it was making them horny, hence the difficulty in falling asleep. :) Ay, ano ba yan?

I got your message and emailed you, but it bounced back. You can email me at this address: Thanks, in advance. :)

February 02, 2007 10:58 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Yes, I will, Kyels. Our instructors strongly recommend it -- not to expect to win but to get used to getting our works rejected ... hahahaha!

When living in NYC, choosing colors can be so discombobulating at times, that when it comes to clothing, somtimes it's safer to go with just black.

February 02, 2007 11:12 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

IRENE!!! ... hmmmm, on second thought, you might be right! Hahahaha! We never know, right?

Will email it to you now :)

February 02, 2007 11:14 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

hola senor, it was only a few days that i was not able to visit your casa, now, i have to catch up with your taho, and ice box, and colors. the more you impress me. one of these days me and my son will join those photography lessons.

February 02, 2007 9:06 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's quite true, red is such an attention grabbing color. I think it should be true that bulls often get attracted or distracted by red objects, as we are told often. There should be a scientific explanation for that now.

February 02, 2007 9:32 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Dine!

If you and your son have some free time this weekend, go and check out the photography fair going on at Glorietta's activity center -- PhotoWorld 2007!


February 02, 2007 11:46 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

From what I understand also, Major Tom, wear something red at meetings because supposedly, the bosses tend to remember whatever ideas you throw their way if you happen to be wearing something red. Interesting, huh?

February 02, 2007 11:49 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

And as they also say, if you are loveless and looking for love, then red is the color to wear.

February 03, 2007 2:44 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very informative blog entry eric! Keep it up! ;-)


February 12, 2007 7:25 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Thanks, Orly!

I was just over at your site and enjoyed your photographs and what you have to say about various Nikkor lenses.

How come you don't update it as much?

February 13, 2007 5:43 AM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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