There are three types of color sites that are of definite interest to photographers and graphic designers.
Color Theory sites:
provides the science background of color and light. Hang onto this site for its insights on how media and technology shape color.
provides a wealth of history and knowledge about color. Going back to Greek philosopy to the discoveries of Newton and Leonardo to modern science and art – often moving in parallel but not necessarily mutually acknowledged synchrony. Absolutely fascinating.
is a very rich and lavishly illustrated intro to every aspect of color theory. If you get stuck elsewhere come here from a different point of view. Be sure to try Peter Piper’s Palette Picker.
takes a look at color in arts and ideas. It provides a history of how alternately science and then arts stimulated the development and use of colors. Ihav e launched you into the middle of things, so explore the menus and tabs. This is another must see website for anyone interested in color.
Color Wheel sites:
is a very dynamic color wheel with all the important controls at your mouse tip along the top of the webpage. Also just click and drag any of the dots on the color wheel for dynamic changes to your evolving palette. ColorJack has some great tools, a Color Blend Studio for designers
and a great set of scripts for for developers.
is the colorwheel available on the very popular ColourLovers website. The site is like ColorMatters but has many more actual tools to create and compare color schemes and palettes. Also users who register [it is free] can save the palettes on the website for later refinement or use. Also ColourLovers is a fun place to be – comparing palette choices and color ideas with others.
provokes a lot of reactions – one colleague asked “Why did I save the best for last?”. Perhaps it is because of the novelty of the Color Crystal and getting used to navigating and manipulating around. Like Adobe’s Kuler, there are some novel ways of selecting color schemes with ColoROTATE. And the tool is available as a Photoshop CS4 plugin for $40.
Color Extraction from Images sites:
is a tool to find the key colors within an image or URL page. What is neat is the many way an images color palette can be manipulated in PhotoCOPA. This is another great ColourLovers.com tool.
provides a quick and easy way to derive a color palette from an existing URL or uploaded image. But as in most of the other tools it does not tell how the colors for the palette were selected. However, Color Hunter provides a Hunch dialog that shows variations on the basic palette derived from your image.
has a color palette extractor similar to Color Hunter demoed just above. Again it is easy to provide a local image file or a online URL for an image [right mouse click and then select image URL from the popup menu]. CSSDrive provides a light, medium and dark palette. User can also save their palettes as a .CSS file or a .ACO Photoshop swatch file.
provides a nifty widget for grabbing a local image file or URL picture and then showing a palette of colors picked from the widget. Users can copy this widget and embed it on their website if they want.
strictly speaking is a color picker with palettes derived from a wide selection of predetermined pictures. But ColorMunki allows users to create palettes from the Munsell or Pantone color systems in such an effective way it had to be included here.
provides a rich tool for exploring either URL or local image file colors. The trick is to get your image or Web page linked into Color Explorer – that is why we start on that page. Once your image is in [note it must be less than 250KB in size]
there are many tabs worth trying including Color Picker, Color Matching, plus Analysis & Conversion. Enjoy!
If you have a favorite color source site – please let us know and it shall be featured on thePhotoFinishes.