I don't have a vendetta with the color blue, or any colors for that matter; that would be odd. I do, however, remove the color blue either entirely or nearly entirely from the lion's share of my images, and for good reason.
Toning photography and videography is age-old and crucial to high quality, commercial work. A simple way of doing that is complementary colors, sometimes in the shadows and highlights, often using teal and orange respectively. With stills photography, however, proper toning is often as much about exclusion as it is inclusion. What this alludes to is the limiting of a color palette.
The best images have carefully chosen color palettes before the shoot takes place and particularly in fashion and commercial work, this can be crucial. However, there's an easy entry level way of approaching the same concept: removing colors that serve no purpose in your image. The most prevalent offender is blue. Blue finds its way in to almost every image you take even if properly white balanced. You will often see it in reflective surfaces and sometimes shadows and you will be so used to looking at it, that you might forget it's even there, hiding in the whites of someone's eyes or the reflection a product. Grab some of your old images and open them in Photoshop, Lightroom or whichever editing suite you use, then raise the saturation of your blues by 100% and see how common they are.
Some time ago when I started working on commercial images of watches, I realized that the glass and any metal or reflective surface often had blue hues. I began to ask the question "what is the color blue doing in this image?" Sometimes it's important; it's the color of an item of clothing or product; the shade of the sky or general atmosphere of a scene, and that's fine. But if it isn't, if the key elements of your image have no blues, then purge them. It's remarkable how much of a positive impact limiting colors can have. I do a lot of commercial work for watch brands and unless blue is a theme or feature, it gets removed completely.
The more you declare war on rogue blues in images, the more you will notice that it's a common practice visible in even the highest of photographic standards.
This first example in Vogue is perfect as I can guarantee there would have been a high amount of blues spread around the image. The final edit is completely neutral with regards to the warmness or coldness of the tone and while this might be pleasing on the eye, it's not natural, although it doesn't look odd or out of place here. As it's indoors and scene is full of reflections and glass, the chances are there were blues seeping in left and right and some oranges from the indoor lighting. The blues have been completely removed in this shot by fashion photographer Gregory Harris, something I often see in his work:
The below image is a beautiful example in Vanity Fair by Norman Jean Roy. In warmer images, it's much more straightforward a decision to remove any blues and completely congruent with the scene. You might even be fooled in to thinking images like this didn't have blues to begin with, but that would be to underestimate just how sneaky those blues are! (The color blue, that wasn't a racial slur against Smurfs.)
As I have mentioned, it's not always the case that you have to choose between all or nothing. In fact, it's arguable that this technique is more powerful when used in conjunction with a feature that is blue. For example, in the below image of musician Gary Numan, there were blues everywhere. We shot this on a sunny summer's day in the middle of the afternoon, outside and surrounded by reflective surfaces. His black shirt, black hair, the whites of his eyes, the reflections of the concrete... everything had a bluish hue to it. So I was more than happy to sap those blues from the image as they weren't adding anything to the composition, however, his piercing blue eyes are crucial to capture and making them the only instances of blue just adds to their impact.
There are three warnings I would like to offer. The first is to make sure removing the blues makes sense. Sometimes images have lots of blues that perhaps you didn't intend but that make up the scene and removal of them would lead to a disconnect between what our eyes are used to seeing and what the image portrays. The second is the temptation to remove all colors you don't like from an image. I admit, I tried this too. I hopped in Lightroom and scrolled down to the saturation sliders: "Magentas... 0, Purples... gone, Cyans... no thank you." This can end up leaving you with a patchy image and grey areas where colors just aren't as linear as you might like. Finally and conversely, sometimes you will realize that blue is playing a role in the general atmosphere of the image. If that's the case, perhaps bring that out as much as possible but remove it from unwanted areas; the opposite of the Gary Numan portrait. Below is an image for a watch client I shot at blue hour and the scene was genuinely blue throughout. I loved the way it looked, but it didn't properly represent the blacks and golds in the watch, so I limited how much blue was in the product so not only would the product be accurate with regards to color, but it draws the eye even more.
How do you approach colors in your photography? Do you have any tips for the control of an image's color palette?