I've noticed, on Pinterest
, that much of what people tend to pin are examples of what they wish their life looked like. A beautiful photograph is occasionally accompanied by several of the key colors extracted from the palette of the photo and arranged like a paint chip.
This is, of course, quite useful in making one's life more like a beautiful photograph. You could decorate a room with a color scheme that makes you feel just as looking at the photo does. You can also do this with photographs of outfits you like. Maybe it's not the specific clothing items you prefer, but the color scheme involved in the ensemble. Time to extract those colors and see what it looks like.
There are some programs out there on the web that will do this automatically for you. The problem with them is that they choose either all the colors (way more subtle hues than you know what to do with), or they choose the 12 most common colors or so. The latter seems like an OK idea, but in the case of the tropical shot below, the 12 most common colors in the photo are all shades of turquoise. The sand isn't prominent enough to get top billing.
Plus, those programs show you the colors, but don't make for a lovely pin-able color scheme.
So, a solution. Two free downloadable Photoshop templates. Choose either horizontal or vertical orientation (or both, if you want to have both handy for future use—all of the above examples are horizontal. The vertical template has the paint chips on the right).
Copy and paste your photo onto the appropriate template. Drag the photo layer below the layer labeled "Put photo below this." Re-size and position the photo as needed.
Make sure the check-boxes for "Use All Layers," "Contiguous," and "Anti-aliased" are all checked.
Click on the "Use All Layers to fill" layer. You'll create the rest of the image from this layer; no need to mess with your layers after this point. Click the paint bucket tool.
Use the eye dropper tool to select a desired color from your photo, then switch to the paint bucket tool to fill one of the paint chips. Repeat until satisfied. Choosing a mix of dark and light colors, and a range of hues, will yield the most pleasing results with your color palette.
When you're finished, choose "flatten image" from the layers menu, and Save As a .jpg for the web. If you accidentally save over the original template, just pop back over here and download yourself another. Feel free to use the downloadable template for any personal or commercial purposes, but do not redistribute the template itself; tell others where you got it instead.