15 Photos Taken (Mostly) In Three Colors

Primary colors—you probably haven't used them since some grade school art class. But red, yellow and blue are making a comeback in a major way. [ed note: they aren't]. Here are all of your best, primary color shots.

Winner: Impromptu


I noticed they put up this red sculpture by my job, so I looked around for some yellow and blue and saw a hot dog stand. I tried to compose a shot that included all 3 colors, but nothing worked until this prodigy of a keyboardist came along and started playing the classics. Immediately, I noticed his yellow shirt and knew I had the shot I was looking for. Shot with 5D MarkIII with 50/1.4 @F11 & 1/40

- Will Gavillan



When I take young students on field trips, we often hunt for specific shapes and colors on the way to and from the subway. Since primary colors evoke primary school so directly, I chose the same approach for this shooting challenge. I was determined to avoid anything posed or arranged, any trace of my hand forcing the composition. While there were many beautiful fruit stands, hospital signs, and serendipitous outfits, I kept coming back to this photo. It best captured the sense of time and place — a sunny Friday afternoon in Morningside Heights, 112th and Broadway. Captured with Canon t2i and 25-105L lens @ 47mm, ISO 100, f/4.0, 1/400 sec

- Sean Cain

Softbox Abstraction


This was actually a happy accident that we discovered when offloading out photos from a photo shoot at our creative marketing agency. From what I can tell, it looks like a softbox that had a filter taped to it. It was shot with a Canon 7D, 100 ISO, 3.5 Aperture, 50mm lens, and 100 shutter speed.

- Justin Stempel

Food Color


Thanks for the great challenge - we had fun thinking through this one. We hope you like the results! Camera: Canon 7D Lens: 100mm 2.8 Macro ISO: 400 Exposure: 1/60 @ 2.8 Flash: Yes My kids and I read the rules of the contest and thought about what we could do with Red/Yellow/Blue in a photo. We decided to head to the grocery store and buy some (Red+Yellow+Blue) food colouring. After filling an ice cube tray with water, the kids had fun adding food colouring to each section and then placed it in the freezer overnight. The next night we grabbed a dark grey baking pan and filled it with just a little tap water. Placed the ice cubes in the tray of water and let them melt for a few minutes. Once the colours started to melt and run we grabbed some shots with the flash to the left of the cubes. Here is the result.

- Graham Kingma



T3i, 55-250 (kit lens), ISO 400, F8.0, 1/200, speedlite. Shot water droplets using a flash and a primary color bounce card I made from construction paper. Boosted the saturation and contrast in Photoshop. Added grain to give it that seventies album cover look.

- Darrin Robertson

Oh This Was Too Obvious


This is a picture taken of my Superman statue. It's taken with a Canon 7D using a Speedlite 430EX 2 Flash.

- Rashid Mannan

Color Run


The Color Run 5K was in town this weekend. I though capturing the primary colors would be easy. But having them all in one pic made it tough. Luckily I was able to stay upwind of most of the colored corn starch. Casey Mills Camera Model: Canon EOS REBEL T3i Shutter Speed: 1/400 Aperture: 13.0 ISO: 400 Lens: EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II (Kit Lens)

- Casey Mills



This is my first shooting challenge or any photo contest for that matter. I was looking all over the house for Red, Yellow, Blue combinations to shoot. I finally came across the color scheme when I was pushing my 2 year old around in his Little Tikes Car! I took the shot and cropped it just to get the proper colors, and did not adjust anything else. Camera: Nikon D80 Lens: AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D ISO: 400 Aperture: f/2.8 Shutter Speed: 1/30

- Bruce Mohon



Shooting Summary: Sony NEX6 35 mm lense ISO 100 0 EV F/1.8 Shutter 1/60 This is my first photo submission of any type and I drove around for a couple hours taking shots of traffic lights next to yellow flags and handicap signs or something very similar...trying to find anything in my general area that expressed the primary colors. I felt disappointed with the day until I pulled into my garage and saw my fiancee's lifejacket hanging over our red kayak, it was perfect and right in front of my eyes the entire time.

- Scott Swisher

Omni Hotel


I wanted to shoot this building for last week's neon challenge, but didn't get downtown at night that week. I just got the new Sony DSC-HX50V to use as a concert camera (with its huge 30x zoom), so on the way back from a Dave Alvin show I realized the lights go through a phase that's yellow, blue, and red. This is the Omni Hotel in Dallas, TX. ISO 800, f/5. No alterations. Btw, you have contradictory instructions. You say to include a native size shot (which I have), but you later say the wallpaper should be 2560 pixels wide. I figure the native shot is more important, but if you want a 2560 shot instead of my native 5184, let me know. Might want to make that clearer when asking for a native shot.

- Greg Girkin

Intense Patio Furniture


Not due to the lack of trying, I didn't find anything outdoors that would give me the color saturation I was hoping to achieve. Left my camera and fancy new lenses at home, went to my girlfriend's and of course then! I spotted the red patio chair blooming in the sun. The red was so Intense, I knew I had to use it in my picture! So I found a blue cushion and a fake flower and started shooting with my GF's camera. 1000D with the kit 18-55mm IS @55mm, f/8, ISO 100 and 1/320s

- Tobias Ammann



This weekend was to be the first in several months that I would have "off" and wouldn't be going out to shoot any shows. Friday morning I was asked to go to Peabody's in Cleveland, Ohio to shoot several bands. This is Chris Conley, the lead singer of Below the Tide, a deathcore band from Kent, Ohio and one of the most insane, energetic bands that I have seen in years. It is the best of a very small amount that I had taken with all 3 of the primary colors in it. Taken with a Sony a77and a Sony 16-50mm f/2.8 lens. Shot at f/2.8, 1/60 sec, ISO 800.

- Jim Butera

Fruitman Returns: This Time For Blood (Oranges)


So i was thinking about what i could use as the subject for the primary colors, the first thing i thought of was fruit. I went to the grocery store and picked up some bananas, blueberries, and strawberries. I instantly thought of a smiley face. I sliced the blueberries in half when i realized they actually looked like eyes. I used the banana as the frame of face and smile, then i used the strawberries as the nose and base of the eyes. I used the blueberries also as the coloration in the face.

- Andrew Smith



While cleaning up the ba-zillion toys my kids let lie around, I had my Idea for this weeks photo challenge. If my boys can play with blocks, so can I. I was going to stage the blocks spilling out of the toy-box, but I was not getting the effect I wanted. After a few different setups, and a bit of luck, I came up with my smiley face. I added the block tower for depth. I also boosted the colors in Lightroom. Canon T1i - f/4.5 - ISO800 - 1/30sec

- Andrew Vanden Heuvel

Stupid Green Carnivals


Canon T2i, 22mm, f/10. One would think the carnival is the perfect place to find a scene featuring primary colors... but in reality, it is very difficult to find them in isolation! Stupid green almost always makes an appearance. I had almost decided I would do some studio shot with my sneakers when I found the magic carpet, where all my (primary color) dreams came true. A few other things I learned at the carnival: Cash and stubbornness are an *awful* combination when playing carnival games, BBQ chicken+corn on the cob++cotton candy+fear of heights are an awful combination when riding the ferris wheel.

- Diego Jimenez



I thought for a while about how I could find the primary colors naturally occurring in our everyday life, then it hit me; brake lights, headlights, and the sky! So I set out late on Father’s Day and set up my gear on an overpass (which thankfully had no fencing around it) so I could get a clear view of Highway 24—which runs through the Caldecott Tunnel in the SF Bay Area. I waited in the cold and wind for an hour or so framing the shot and making sure the lighting was just right. After numerous shots, I finally got this one. Traffic was moving at a good pace and the sky was a nice hue of blue. A little bit of post work and voilà—all three primarycolors in one image! This image was shot with my Canon Rebel SL1 fitted with a Canon EF-S 10-22mm lens. It was shot at ISO 100, with an aperture of f/8 and a 10 second exposure.

- Armont van Dyck

Bungie Chord


So I was wandering around Lowes Hardware when I noticed their bungie cord section. The original colors in the line were yellow, green, red, but I switched out the green for the blue (I wanted to put in yellow, blue, green, red just to include the light primary colors, but it would've been too clumsy). I put the boxes back in their proper places afterwards, but I was standing there for like 20 min trying to figure out the right shot. Anyway, I spent about 2 hours trying to get a pic of my friend zooming on my primary-colored bike, but none of those came out and this seemed to work the best. Pentax K100D, 50mm, 1/30 sec, f/5.6, ISO 1600

- Chris Thai



Canon 60D — f/5 — ISO100 — 70mm — 1/1600"

- Mike Case

Thanks for everyone who participated this week, who spent the better part of their resting mental processing on scanning vistas for red, yellow and blue trios. The big shots are on flickr.


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