Using the power of colour to enhance mood

Using the power of colour to enhance mood. Photo by Nolan Lister


The power of colour to enhance mood

When I created this portrait I knew how the final product should look. My first challenge was creating a warm colour palette with cold highlights. The use of cold vs warm colours are being used extensively by designers and visual artists to create mood and visual tension. To create the final image, I used a clever feature built into Photoshop, namely Kuler. I would highly recommend you look into using the Kuler App if you are a Photoshop and Lightroom user. You can also access this nifty feature on Adobe’s website –


If you’re new to colour, there are loads of tutorials on the internet. One of our favourite online resources for colour theory can be found on the Tiger Color website – We also cover the creative use of colour extensively in our Creative and Fine-Art Photography Classes.


Apart from using colour to enhance my fashion portrait, I used split frequency for the base of the edit. I knew that I did not want to over-do the skin editing as it would have taken away from the mood. Basic skin clean-up was done and then moved onto creating the right colours. I achieved this with colour grading by using a series of curves adjustment layers. Once I was happy with the colour grading, I did some minor dodging and burning using curves adjustment layers. I created two layers… One for dodging and another for burning. This is a fairly basic edit for me… I will be sharing some of my more involved edits soon.  If you’re interested in learning more about fashion and beauty retouching, I strongly recommend you book for my 1-Day Fashion and Beauty Retouching Course.

To view more of Nolan’s work, visit his website –