Weir uses lighting and colour to highlight the psychological state of the two worlds he depicts. Thus the city is represented in early scenes by darkness and shadows and neon lighting, emphasising the dangers of the synthetic, modern world. This lighting returns when Book and Rachel have their first romantic moment and are illuminated in the barn by the headlights of Book's car, suggesting their union is doomed for its link to this counterfeit world. Conversely, the Amish setting is bathed in sunlight and soft pastels, representing a literal and metaphoric transparency or moral purity of its people.
The colours used by Weir for symbolic effect are light blue, red and black.

Light blue is traditionally symbolic of tranquillity, happiness and freedom. Book's car is light blue, as is Samuel's Amish clothing when running through the fields to escape the wrath of Schaeffer and McFee Significantly, these men who have been entrusted to maintain the tranquillity and freedoms of their world have cast away the blue shirts of their profession to don the suits of ruthless businessmen. Also, the abundant shots of blue sky above the Amish rural setting convey their own idyllic sense of tranquillity and happiness. Significantly, Book's light blue car (symbolic of the freedoms of technological progress) crashes into a post when he initially attempts to withdraw from the community, and then fails to start when he must escape from Schaeffer and McFee in the final scenes. Thus Book's motorised token of freedom is shown as useless compared to the traditional horses of his Amish hosts - an irony in relation to modern world understanding of progress and sophistication.
In terms of the cinematography, it is the (metaphorical) dark shadows of the modern world which threaten to encroach upon the contrasting light blues of the Amish world. This is represented by the dark lighting of the scene in which Rachel nurses Book to health after his shooting; in the silhouette shot of...