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Colors of Light ~ Red Green Blue ~ Sun Flare in Photography

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Colors of Light ~ Red Green Blue ~ Sun Flare in Photography

Original Author: Mike Horvath New version by j...
Image via Wikipedia

Red Green Blue ~ Colors of Light ~ Sun Flare in Photography

When learning about photography and color theory, it is important to understand RGB (which stands for Red, Green, and Blue). Without getting bogged down in all the technical stuff, you can see how colors mix in this image below. When it comes to light, red and blue mix to make magenta, red and green mix to make yellow, and green and blue mix to make cyan.

This plays a role in color correction in Photoshop, white balance, and photography as a whole.

As taught to me in art and science classes, without light, energy waves that produce the sensation of color, we would not have color. Our eyes only see a small part of the spectrum of light, with short wavelengths starting as blue to the long wavelengths seen as red. When taking a photograph, it is often hard to “see” this in our pictures. Sun flare sometimes will allow you to see the colors. Rainbows will as well. And since a picture is worth a thousand words, I have two recent shots that may help you better see the RGB.

I would love all of you to share photos in the comment section of rainbows or sun flare where you can see the colors of light separated out into light. If you do not have any, challenge yourself to go out on a sunny day and try for different types of flare.  Try partially blocking the sun off a building and try to grab colors of flare.  It takes practice and experimentation, but you can get fun, artistic results, and will learn about photography in the process.

In this shot, you can literally see the red, green and blue in the light coming from the sun.

RGB Additive Colors of Light

And in this one, you can see the sun flare and lighter rings of color (red and green). Likely, I would have needed a greater angle to see the blue:

girl in a tree with sun flare

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24 Comments

  1. Alexa Horsley
    June 22, 2011 at 10:04 pm —

    this picture isn’t he greatest quality because i took it with my phone but i thought it was pretty cool

  2. amy
    July 29, 2011 at 1:08 pm —

    I love sunflares and I love sights like these that show the different kinds – helps a lot when debunking paranormal photographs (I have a lot of people send me pics asking for advice on rather on not a photo is paranormal or not – so many times IT’S SUNFLARES!) Here is one of my personal favorites that I took at a local cemetery – hope you enjoy it!

  3. Angelia
    August 19, 2011 at 8:24 am —

    I never met my grandmother or grandfather and at my visit to their grave they gave me a gift that is clearly visible in this picture. A sun flare perhaps but it distinctly seems to have a more valuable message!

  4. December 12, 2011 at 7:43 am —

    This is extremely useful informartion… I remember when I first started using CS and other progs… I toyed round with it… but… being educated will hbelp you utilize it wisely… awesone article :}

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Colors of Light ~ Red Green Blue ~ Sun Flare in Photography