Simple Solutions to Color Blunders That Ruin Photos (VIDEO)

It's nearly impossible to capture a great photo if the colors in your images are consistently unnatural, gaudy or dull. So if you're struggling with unimpressive color, whether shooting indoors or out, buckle up and watch the 10-minute tutorial below.

Instructor Justin Laurens is a professional portrait photographer and retouching expert who uses his combination of skills to describe six common shooting and editing mistakes that are sure to spoil the look of a photo. Then he provides straightforward solutions for helping your work reach its full potential.

You needn't be a portrait photographer to take advantage of Lauren's suggestions, because they work equally for others genres too. You'll learn everything from the basics of color theory, planning color palettes, and getting things right in the camera, to post-processing techniques and much more. As he says, don't be one of those photographers who "ignore the transformative power of color."

Laurens describes how color can be enhanced to imbue images with emotion, mood, and feeling, and the first mistake he describes is one you probably haven't heard before; namely "neglecting the intentional use of color and failing to plan your color palette ahead of the shoot." He quickly reviews the concept and explains how to get the job done.

The second blunder described is also one of neglect, this time failing to comprehend fundamentals of the Color Wheel and putting them to work. He explains how a basic understanding of this important tool will help you achieve "color harmony" or the pleasing arrangement of different colors in the images you shoot.

Lauren's says, "the Color Wheel is like a map that shows you which colors go well together or harmonize" to enhance the look of an image." In other words, by using different color combinations you can give images a wide range of appealing, realistic effects. Along the way he simplifies the theoretical aspects in favor of practical applications.

At this point we've barely scratched the surface, and there are still four more mistakes and corresponding solutions for creating images that pop off the screen. Some of these happen in the camera, while others occur once you're sitting behind the computer. In either case Lauren's tips are very effective and simple to accomplish.

After watching the video take a look at Lauren's popular YouTube channel where you'll find many more tips and tricks for elevating your shooting and editing skills.

And on a related note, don't miss the tutorial we posted with another post-processing expert who explains how easy it is to use Photoshop's powerful Eyedropper tool to achieve precise, balanced colors in every photograph you shoot.