Learn About Hue (+printable)

posted in: Notes | 23

Learn About HueThis week we’ll be learning about hue for our ABCs of Photography series.  What is hue?

Hue refers to color.  It can be tricky to explain if you look at the technical definition… like the one found at Steve’s Digicams:

Hue is the color part of color. When we say a color is blue, purple, or yellow, we’re generally talking about hue. Technically, hue is “the degree to which a stimulus can be described as similar to or different from stimuli that are described as red, green, blue, and yellow (the unique hues).”

But hue is a little more easy to understand when you consult Dictionary.com:

1. a gradation or variety of a color; tint: pale hues.

2. the property of light by which the color of an object is classified as red, blue, green, or yellow in reference to the spectrum.

3. color: all the hues of the rainbow.

4. form or appearance.

Hue describes the color, is what allows us to tell red from green, yellow from blue.  It is how we distinguish different colors!

One way to explain hue is to open an image editing program such as Adobe Photoshop (PS Elements 13 #afflink).  Usually there is some sort of Hue/Saturation adjustment option, like I’ve shown below:


You’ll notice three sliders. hue, saturation, and lightness.  The lightness slider is similar to the tonal ranges lwhen we learned about grayscale.  Saturation is how much color or how little, and hue is the specific color (as in ROYGBIV) of the tone.

We’re going with another simple coloring page today.Print it out and try to duplicate the hues with whatever media you’d like – crayons, acrylic, markers, colored pencils, etc.  Then, go out into nature with your printable, and look around.  See what hues you can find in real life that match (or closely approximate) the hues you’ve colored.

Here’s the printable (download links just below the picture):


Download Hue Printable PDF / JPG


Make sure to check back next week for the next post, where I’ll share an activity for the letter J (learn about jaggies). You might also enjoy revisiting last week’s activity where we learned about grayscale.

The ABCs of Photography - An Educational Series for KidsJoin Betsy as she works through the alphabet in this educational series for kids… The ABCs of Photography!  We’ll cover topics from A to Z, with activity ideas for both younger and older kids

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23 Responses

  1. Gail Akeman

    Thank you for joining the Small victories Sunday Linkup. Please join again.

  2. Fi Ní Neachtáin

    Thank you for sharing this series, it’s a great way to learn about aspects of photography. I usually just use an auto adjust option to give the perfect hue to my photos. I do like to increase brightness too sometimes too though to give that beautiful, light looking typical ‘blogger’ photos as I like to call it!

  3. Jeremy

    Interesting… I’m still not sure if I understand what this Hue thing is lol, I guess it’s a photogropher thing! I’ve always liked photography but never taken to it myself, you must get great reward from achieving a perfect shot 🙂

  4. Nancy

    Ah I like that you’re teaching other bloggers/readers this. Hue + Saturation + all the other fun stuff is what we learned in Graphic Design school a number of years ago. I still use all this stuff on my day-to-day basis when editing photos for my blog. Some good tips!!

  5. Amanda

    This is such an important artistic element to teach. My oldest had a really hard time with it until we introduced the book “Mix it Up” to him. Not sure if you know about it, but it is a really great interactive book where little readers mix black and white to colors in order to create different colors. Such a fun read!

  6. Tami

    I remember some of this from art class in high school. I have been wanting to learn more about photography to improve my skills. I’m looking forward to the rest of this series.

  7. Tammilee Tips

    Great tutorial!! I remember some of this from college classes but a refresher is always important to do!! Its crazy how much some of the technology can change things but much of the basics are still the same.

  8. Brook Devis

    Thank you for sharing this series, it’s a great way to learn about aspects of photography.Great tutorial!! technology can change thing i guesx

  9. Lauren Harmon

    What an informative post, I’ve always used photoshop and even used the Hue/Saturation function but never really given it much thought. Thanks a bunch for sharing this and explaining the exact meaning of hue! I really like the project you give to understand hue as well!

  10. Delia @ Happy Blogger Plaza

    Thanks for the great tutorial on hues. I never really knew what it means I guess because a too detailed explanation really gets me lost 🙂 I am more for things that are simple.

  11. Geanine

    Awesome explanation of Hue! I am eager to go back and read your ABC of Photography series. I have had several high tech cameras and have no idea how to use any of them to its full potential.

  12. Cara (@StylishGeek)

    This is an awesome and very helpful tutorial! Thanks for sharing. I have to admit that when I adjust my photographs I do not often touch the ‘hue’, just the saturation. But it’s helpful to know what it can do.

  13. Betsy Finn

    Thanks Gail!

  14. Betsy Finn

    Thanks! Glad you stopped by. I know the look you’re talking about…very refreshing and inspiring.

  15. Betsy Finn

    🙂 Thanks Jeremy. It is a learning process and a lot od photography is about using creative intuition ….with all the training hopefully coming into play to make crafting thw perfect shot kust a bit more achievable.

  16. Betsy Finn

    Yes, Nancy. ..it’s like a Design 101 class! I loved my basic design class in college.

  17. Betsy Finn

    What a neat book, Amanda…we will have to look for it. My son enjoys a book called “color kittens” (I think)…it has a similar premise!

  18. Betsy Finn

    Looking forward to having you join us, Tami!

  19. Betsy Finn

    Thanks Brook, glad you enjoyed this post (and series). Technology sure does change things….

  20. Betsy Finn

    Thanks Lauren! Glad you liked it and learned something!

  21. Betsy Finn

    Yes, simple is better! You’re welcome!

  22. Betsy Finn

    Thanks Geanine! Sometimes technology can be overwhelming with all the options. Pick a few settings and commit to figuring one out at a time 🙂

  23. Betsy Finn

    Thanks Cara, glad you enjoyed it!