Without contrast everything is the same . . .

Understanding how to use contrast in your photographs will help you create stunning images, as contrast helps direct the viewer’s attention to the subject of the composition.

There are two main types:

  • Tonal contrast: whereby there is a significant difference between the lightest and darkest tones in the image, and
  • Colour contrast: in which the different colours interact against each other, often using complementary colours, e.g. red against greens etc. to achieve the same effect.

Complimenting these main two types are a range of others, including:

  • Focus contrast: using depth of field effects,
  • Shape contrast: organic contrasted against geometric lines and shapes etc.,
  • Material contrast: wood against stone, organic against man-made etc.,

And where better to practice this than at the Botanischer Garten in Steglitz.

Some examples illustrating the technique

Tips for when on location

  • Look for contrasting levels of light: light/shade.
  • Look for contrasting colours: yellow/purple, red/green, orange/blue etc.
  • Look for contrasting shapes, lines, forms, materials etc.

© Andrew James Kirkwood – 2017

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