Digital Color Theory Fundamentals

Color Theory Fundamentals for Digital Photography

Adapted from The Essential Color Manual for Photographers (Rotovision)

By Chris Rutter

It is easy to take color for granted; after all, it is how we see the world every day. But color plays such an integral part in our emotions and in our perception of a scene that knowledge of the nature of color and how to capture it in your images will give impact and expression to your photography.

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Digital Imaging Terminology

DIGITAL IMAGES¬†are electronic snapshots taken of a scene or scanned from documents, such as photographs, manuscripts, printed texts, and artwork. The digital image is sampled and mapped as a grid of dots or picture elements (pixels). Each pixel is assigned a tonal value (black, white, shades of gray or color), which is represented in binary code (zeros and ones). The binary digits (“bits”) for each pixel are stored in a sequence by a computer and often reduced to a mathematical representation (compressed). The bits are then interpreted and read by the computer to produce an analog version for display or printing.

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ART 146 Introduction to Computer Art – Writing Assignment 1

ART 146 Introduction to Computer Art

Writing Assignment 1

Please browse the following sites. Find 5 works of various types of digital art you feel are exceptional. Save these photos to the computer. Insert these photos into a Word document and answer the questions for each example.




Describe the subject matter. What are there recognizable images?

Describe the technical qualities of the work (i.e., digital tools, photos, type, illustration, etc.)



Describe the completed compositions use of the elements and principles of design:

Identify some of the similarities throughout the work (i.e., repetition of lines, elements, balance).

Identify some of the points of emphasis in the work (i.e., specific element).

If the work has subjects or characters, what are the relationships between or among them?



Describe how the work makes you think, feel or your first reaction about it:

Describe the expressive qualities you find in the work. What expressive language would you use to describe the qualities (i.e., tragic, ugly, funny)?


Judgment or Evaluation

Present your opinion of the work’s success or failure:

What qualities of the work make you feel it is a success or failure?

How original is the work? Why do you feel this work is original or not original?

What criteria can you list to help others judge this work?