Color theory is one of the basics for painters. They thrive on understanding the relationships among the various colors and how to use those to enhance or diminish elements in their compositions. Warm colors advance toward the viewer; cool colors recede away. Knowing this means controlling the viewer’s eye through the painting.
Photography provides the same control once you start thinking beyond the colors the camera captures and begin exploring what you get by merging images to create new relationships between the colors. Although color can seduce a photographer, leading them to believe the color is the subject rather than the real focal point of the image, sometimes color can be the reason and the actual subject becomes a part of the abstraction. The mind is left looking and wondering; “is there something there? isn’t that a _______? where have I seen that before?” The viewer has the opportunity to freely explore the image and read into the subject what they bring to the photograph.
The image above? The stump of a tree showing the saw marks and different hues of the wood grain. In itself a simple image of a simple subject. With some adjustment, new information comes out to bring new dimensions.