One of the often overlooked but never not noticed (how’s that for confusing?) aspects of photography is the color palette of your image. The palette is the totality of the colors displayed in your image and it is something that influences the impression of every image we take. We just don’t often consciously pay attention to the colors we photograph even though a bad choice can ruin an image.
If you think about some good and bad color combinations- good: blue and gold, blue and white, (actually almost anything with blue or white), red and green; bad- pink and lime, purple and red, brown and black (okay, anything with lime and brown)- you can see how some color combinations are pleasing and some are just grating. Yes, I realize that some of this is personal preference but in general color combinations are important.
What usually happens with a bad color palette is that when you look at your pictures you are displeased with it but you can’t identify exactly why. Its not the composition or the focus that’s wrong but something about that picture just strikes you as off. Next time this happens, notice the combination of colors you have captured. I’d bet they are the issue.
Of course, this also means that you do get to select the colors you are photographing. The palette is not something that just happens, most of the time you select it. You do this by picking the best background for your subject- best as in least distracting and most pleasing colors. How do you choose? Take a few steps left or right and your background will often change. those few steps can make a big difference in your image.
So pay attention to the color palette of your image, with fall colors coming you’ll have lots on which to practice.