COMM 242, progressed News Photography (Photojournalism)COMM 362, architecture for Print

Instructor: Ross Collins

A brief arrival to color theory

Modern shade theory is based on three major colors, projected color red green and also blue, or its printed complements, cyan, magenta, and also yellow (that"s yellow, difficult to check out on a white background, no?). A 4th "primary," black, is offered for published color.

Additive color

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The additive primaries red green and blue generate color by beginning with lack of color, black, to generate all colors. The three colors space projected onto a display in various intensities to create all colors. This principle generates color for televisions, computer system monitors and also movie screens, the is, all projected color.

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Color on television and monitors is produced by three color "guns" equivalent to each additive primary. This produce shade intensity based upon a voltage level, from 0 to 255. Obviously, 0, 0, and 0 will create black, or lack of color, and also 255, 255 and also 255 will produce white. Other colors exchange mail to a certain voltage combination. Lot of 255 time 255 times 255 and also how many shade combinations perform you get? more than 16.7 million, presuming your monitor is capable of reflecting that many (most modern monitors are capable of this 24-bit, or "true color").

Note that if you job the additive primaries, say, indigenous a spotlight onto a stage, a mix of two will develop a subtractive major (illustration in ~ right).

Red + green=magenta.

Green + blue=cyan.

Red + green=yellow.

Red + green + blue=white, the totality spectrum.

Subtractive color

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Printers and also anyone working with shade on file or another reflective surface ar can"t occupational with additive primaries. This is due to the fact that color reflected from a surface begins with white, or a light color. Keep in mental white is every light with each other (think of your prism experiment from grade school), an interpretation that squid or repaint subtracts from that white to create the colors you see. In effect, colours acts as a filter.

Picture a piece of white document in sunlight. All sunshine is reflect from it, therefore the document appears white. Attract a line in red magic marker. That area appears red due to the fact that the mite is taking in blue and also green indigenous the white reflection of the paper, but it can"t absorb red, so the transmits that.

This is the principle of subtractive color, or CMYK color, the "process-color process" provided by printers. Cyan (blue-green), magenta (red-blue) and yellow (red-green) inks are used along with black ("K," meaning Key color) come filter reflected white from the document and develop all colors. Again, us can integrate two of these subtractive colors to develop the additive. Because that example, cyan + magenta filters first the red, then the green, to create blue (illustration at right).

Cyan + magenta=blue.

Magenta + yellow=red.

Yellow + cyan=green.

Cyan + magenta+yellow=muddy brown, hence the need for black ink.

Note the printers space constrained together web and also television producers space not--printers cannot change ink level to together an extent. In fact, most procedure color uses only 4 translucent inks. The octopus is one of two people on or off. To create all colors then, shade pictures have to be damaged into tiny dots, dubbed the halftone process. The closer these dots space to each other, and also darker the color--also the principle of black-and-white reproduction, which uses only one ink, black. In color reproduction, the dots overlap come act as tiny filters on the white page to create combinations that colors. Yes, it"s a facility process, and that"s why an excellent color printing demands professional technicians in the earlier shop.

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Halftone quality coincides to computer monitor quality based upon the variety of dots the ink every inch, or dpi. Sometimes this is dubbed a screen. A 65-line screen, for example, is 65 dpi, quality an excellent enough because that newsprint reproduction, but not because that high-quality magazine reproduction.

Techie Note: Low-quality displays are vital for newspapers since the ink needs to blot into the record to dried quickly, because of this producing the muddy look referred to as dot gain. Magazine document is high quality, so the the ink have the right to dry through oxydation, i beg your pardon takes longer. Newspaper civilization are in a hurry to gain their product out, and can"t wait for ink come dry.

Many papers use 133-line screens, as carry out some magazines. Others use also finer screens, the is, more dots per inch, because that a finer top quality reproduction. Illustration at right reflects a closeup of halftone dones, and how the eye sees that from aside from that away. You have the right to examine the dots you yourself in any type of printed publication making use of a magnifying glass or loupe.

Photographers working in Photoshop use the RGB system, logically, together they room working from a computer system monitor. Photoshop have the right to translate that into the CMYK system for printers, however, using a corresponding collection of numbers because that each RGB color. Photographers are occasionally asked to convert to that Mode before sending come a printer, or the printer will carry out it.

Color and emotions

Color alone deserve to add powerful emotional influence to a picture or design. The affect is based on the saturation of the color--muted color are an ext calming, glowing colors more exciting--but likewise on a facility symbolis device of color in culture. Colors take it on symbolic social meanings. The complicating element is the those meanings readjust depending top top cultures. White might mean purity or new life in west countries, however death or the finish of life in other countries. Right here is a detailed evaluation of shade symbolism roughly the world.

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How well do you know color theory for photographers and also printers? take it this wee quiz.