Category Archives: Digital Photography Expert; Colour

Digital Photography Expert; Colour, Michael Freeman (2005)

Digital Photography Expert; Colour, Michael Freeman (2005)

When I began the TAoP Part 4, Colour, I sought out further reading materials on the topic to help me both with the theory and with the practice. In the bookshop I came across the book above and found it to be just what I was looking for. It is an easy to read and understand text which is divided into 4 chapters; The Language of Colour, Working Digitally, Real Life, Real Colours and Choosing and Using.

 Chapter 1:The Language of Colour

On beginning Part 3, Colour I found this chapter to indispensable. It examines colour theory in far greater detail than The Photographer’s Eye (2007) and this became my go to reference book when working through the exercises within the chapter. Areas I found of use were

  • Digital Photography Expert; Colour, Michael Freeman (2005)It clearly explains the differences between transmitted light and reflected light and how this results in the different primary colour systems. This was an area that I had been finding it difficult to get my head around.
  • Saturation, Hue and Brightness are also defined to aid the language of describing and, ultimately, understanding colour.
  • The colour of light and colour temperature are discussed, which at the time I did not fully grasp, however I have since found this information very useful in supporting the exercises in Chapter 4, Light.
  • The section on the colour of objects outlined the primary and secondary colours’ properties alongside black, white and grey. It looks at each colour in terms of hue, saturation and brightness and also of the perceived characteristics each colour may have. This was another sections I found very useful as it broke down each colour into shades with the colour families. This helped me to look at and, in some cases, identify the slight differences between the colour of objects.

Chapter 2: Working Digitally

This section looks at computer and camera colour profiles as well monitor calibration techniques to aid the accurate capture of colour. It also has a section on printer profiling. These are areas that I have yet to look into in any great depth but are on my ‘to do’ list for another day.

Chapter 3: Real Life, Real Colours

This section was full of useful explanations, that helped me to understand the different types of colour relationship and why they are widely considered to ‘work’. The chapter covers amongst other things

  • Colour harmony between the primary and secondary colours
  • Multi-colour combinations
  • Colour accent
  • Discord
  • Colour and sensations

Chapter 4: Choosing and Using

This chapter looks at various way colors can be used in photography with themes such as rich and intense, restrained and commonplace and colour as the subject. It also details some case studies of how Freeman has used colour in own shoots.

I also found the section on selective enhancement for colour useful as it highlights the ways that colours and colour relationships can be enhanced digitally.


I bought this book with the initial goal of supporting my studies throughout the chapter on Colour. However, I can now see that it can, and will, act as a book that I can return to for ideas and reference throughout my studies and beyond. I would definitely recommend this to other TAoP students.

Freeman, M. (2005) Digital Photography Experts: Colour. Lewes: ILEX