People much more versed in the theory of art and color have spent much of their lives writing about and explaining color. I have nothing to contribute to that erudite discussion. But I can share my own movement into the understanding of color in my art.
(Remember that for well over half my life, colors did not play into the work of 99.99% of my days. So, I have to confess that at first I didn't get it. Actually it was much longer than “at first”.)
After countless hours of processing images, it slowly became clear to me that when I wanted to modify the red in an image, there was a particular red that I favored. Also with greens and blues and yellows and for that matter all major color groups. I had begun to develop a penchant for certain tones. As time went on, I used these tones repeatedly. They were becoming my style of color processing...and the colors that dominate my work.
After several years there came a rhythm to my work. Sitting down to process an image brought me to a place where I could place my personal color palette into the image and subsequent print.
This 14-image gallery was my first project focusing on color. It was from an afternoon wandering around Huntington Gardens outside of Los Angeles.
A bit before this afternoon project I had attended a workshop where there was a fair amount of discussion about developing one's personal style of color. I took that discussion and personal inquiry into this work. The project is from a very early, nascent understanding of color, and I titled the project creatively Color and Form circa 2013. But I think it shows well the early understanding of color within an image.
As an ongoing practice to this day, I will often stop and name the color palette in a scene in front of me. It is a great exercise to do before a photo shoot where I have been away from shooting for some time. It gets me back into the seeing and naming of the colors in front of me.
The seeing and naming of color makes it easier to photograph in color more creatively.