Helping fight the winter blues with colors

Of course, winter photos have a certain appeal: on one hand, there is snow, ice crystals, a radiant cold blue dominating the scene. But on the other hand, we face a dull, grey filthy weather that doesn’t encourage us to go outside and take photos, although one can of course produce creative shots in any kind of weather.



It is proven that the colors of winter, in line with any other color, have an effect on us humans and photographers. Here’s an example: Just imagine a fresh bright yellow lemon glistening in the sun. You cut it in half and take a closer look at the gleaming yellow pulp, before taking a big bite from the lemon. Now start chewing… Do you realize what’s happening right there in your mouth? Colors have an effect and we can use them in our photography to achieve a certain mood or reaction. Why could this be of any specific importance in winter? Both the weather and landscapes are dominated by different shades of grey and grey is proven to have a negative effect on our mood. There is a reason this time of year is referred to when mentioning winter blues, a slightly depressive mood. Surely, we don’t want that, right? This is why we fight winter blues with colorful pictures.


While shades of blue have a calming effect, the color red activates the metabolism. This is why red is the color of warning and prohibitory signs. Yellow has a very similar effect as it stimulates a person’s emotional state. Be careful though: too much yellow makes people nervous! Similar to blue, green has a calming effect, but not to the same extent. Darker shades of brown have a melancholic effect. Have you ever contemplated why Christmas cookies are decorated with color?



As you can see, colors have a meaning that goes way further than what meets the eye on a photo. As a photographer, we all can use colors as an instrument during post production.


So what do we do when the weather is a saddening grey and we aim to use our photography to chase away our winter blues, other than going for a spontaneous drive to the airport and just boarding the next plane?


  • Have a look through your hard drives and start reminiscing. You most certainly have a lot of photos from past holidays that require some editing. So, have a go and take a good look at these photos showing the sun, beach, the sea and other beautiful captured moments. Let them do some magic.
  • Let the night be your friend. Even though the weather might be all grey during daytime, the evening brings back color. Street lights, neon signs and illuminations of buildings in the city are beautiful scenes, giving a photographer all the colors they could ask for.
  • Dive deep beyond reality when doing your photo editing and let your creativity roam free. This is exactly what we do and have the utmost fun when we work on our so-called “marmeladisieren” style of post-processing. Why should we leave a grey winter photo that grey? We can do better than that, right? With the knowledge about the effects of colors in the back of our mind, we can deliberately work on giving our images a colorful twist and emphasize certain features. It is fun to fantasize and work on creating certain moods. We know from experience that the mood you envisage to bring across quite quickly influences your own positive well-being. This mood swing alone is well worth it and a good enough reason to spend some time on creative photo editing.


Here is another tip next to photo editing and creative photography that will help fight your winter blues. In case you cannot go on a spontaneous holiday, how about making travel plans for the near future? That’s another way to keep our imagination going – looking forward to something doesn’t hurt, does it? We actually plan a photo holiday to Dubai, open to the public, from November 16 – 23, 2019. Working out the details of this trip is a lot of fun already. Desert safaris, hyper modern architecture, the world’s tallest building and so much more that will guarantee lasting memories. On top of that, escaping the grey of November is good for one’s soul and mood. What a thing to look forward to: exchanging the grey, cloudy sky and winter clothes for a pair of shorts and warm, turquoise waters. Winter blues won’t stand a chance next winter!


If you are interested in traveling to Dubai with us, please reach out via email to We’ll let you know as soon as we have enough participants to get the workshop holiday trip off the ground.



Pavel, in support with Miho Birimisa, is the inspirational think tank in the photography industry. With over 20 years experience, together they reinvent themselves over and over again, covering creative travel photography, artworks, photo trips around the globe, video productions, and inspiring workshops for everybody. With over 90,000 subscribers on YouTube, 36,000 on Instagram and around 50,000 on Facebook, Pavel & Miho are among the top-ranked photography and filmmaking authorities.