Woman in colourful dress in front of a blue building
Colour,  Lens-Artists,  Themed galleries

Gallery: celebrating reds, yellows and blues

Red and yellow and pink and green

Purple and orange and blue,

I can sing a rainbow,

Sing a rainbow,

Sing a rainbow too.

Songwriter: Arthur Hamilton

Except today’s rainbow will have only three colours: red, yellow and blue. Why? Because they are the primary colours from which all other colours can be made.

I’m a big fan of what I term ‘monochrome colour’ photography. After all, monochrome simply means ‘single colour’ and nowhere does it say that colour has to be black!

This week Sofia has challenged us to find photos celebrating these shades for the Lens Artists challenge. So I want to share some almost monochrome images dominated by those three primary colours.

My feature photo however has all three. This is one of the famous palenquera women of Cartagena. They deserve a post all of their own one day as they have a proud history and have become symbolic of that city. That city, and its colourful Getsemani area in particular, was a rich source of images for this post, as was all of Colombia!

I’ve grouped all my photos in galleries for maximum colour impact. You can hover over any image for a caption or click to open a slideshow of each gallery if you prefer to view one shot at a time. But feel free to skip! I know there are a lot of them and I’ve shared many before; I just couldn’t resist going a bit mad with this one!


Red warns us of danger and tells us to stop. It is the colour of anger and aggression. But conversely it also symbolises love and passion. In photography it can leap out of an image. Manuals on composition often advise including someone dressed in red in your landscape shots, something I personally dislike as I find it too distracting.

My reds come from Japan, India, China, Nepal, Colombia, Portugal, the US and at home in London.


Yellow is the colour of sunshine and happiness. It makes us smile and energises us. Who doesn’t love to see yellow daffodils in the spring? But it’s also the colour associated with cowardice and sometimes with sickness.

My yellows are from China, Colombia, Chile, Vietnam, the US, Bulgaria, India, Oman and Morocco.


Blue is the colour of calmness and tranquillity. A blue image is often peaceful and relaxing to look at. But blue also symbolises depression and sadness; we even talk of ‘feeling blue’.

Many of my blues come from Colombia but you’ll also find the US, Nepal, Chile and Bulgaria.


Do share your thoughts, I'd love to hear from you!