Though black and white photography is considered the classic, there are some things that just can't be experienced without color. It is often an element used to enhance the subject of the photo as well as tie it together with the rest of the picture. But there are rules that allow you to use colors without going overboard.
Use Strong Bold Colors Simply
Bold colors have big impact. They have depth and develop interest. The key to this is keeping the composition of these colors simple. To get the best effect, it is a good idea to stick to a few bold colors.
Use Pastel, Subtle Colors
Not all pictures have to contain eye-popping colors and shades. Some pictures such as ones of flowers, portraits, still life, and waterfalls are better with little to no contrast. Cloudy days are ideal for taking these types of photos. The lack of light, reduces the shadows leaving the end product to be a soft and gentle one.
Use One Color against a Neutral Background
If you want to emphasize the color of the subject of the photo, it is generally best to place it against a neutral background. This gives the subject a greater focus due to no competing hues around it.. For a neutral background, black, gray, and brown work well, but any other background with a heavy shadow would work as well..
Use a Dominant Color
Choose one color to be the main color in your photograph. This then, becomes the focus of the picture and it always goes as a perfect element to tie it altogether. For a even stronger effect choose a primary color (red, blue, and yellow) as the dominate color.
Color Balance and Emotion
Color Balance determines the outcome of the picture and is a tool you can use to change it if you want. The Color Balance is based on the color wheel where colors that compliment each other are together and ones that contrast are opposite each other. For a soft mellow look, choose complimentary colors such as different shades of blue. And for a contrast, take a picture of red flowers in a green meadow.
Color Emotion is equally important to color balance. Every color has emotional value behind it. Also each color depending on its context, has a different feeling behind it. For example, red is a warm color often used for love but when used in a different context can be used for anger (seeing red) or danger (seeing blood).