Contrast in photography

Contrast in photography as a basic tool

One of the fundamental tools of photography is contrast. You may always see it while you adjust the image tune or at least you may hear it anywhere mentioned by the photographers.

The meaning of Contrast as a word🔍

First of all, let’s have a look at the brief meaning of Contrast as a word. According to Merriam Webster dictionary, the contrast has two meanings :

1. to be different especially in a way that is very obvious.

2. to compare (two people or things) to show how they are different.

Therefore, Contrast refers to using different tones that make some subjects inside the photo frame more prominent than other subjects. In other words, the differences between the dark and the light or the colors will end up in contrast. After knowing the meaning of this word, probably you will ask:

What’s the advantage of using contrast?

Some photographers benefit from contrast tools in photography in order to draw the attention of the viewers to what they really desire. Knowing the functionality and the importance of contrast will lead you to perfect photos. There are mainly two types of contrast in photography but you can read one more type which is texture contrast. Let’s discover more!

Tonal Contrast or TC

it’s the tone differences from gray to black, or in a simple way the differences in brightness levels. Tc is the most significant thing in B&W or Black and White pictures. Gray, White, and Black are the key elements in your photos that could be modified and differentiated.

Color contrast or CC

It refers to the contrast between the colors. For instance, the differences between the color tones such as warm and cold colors, weak and strong colors, and, moreover light colors against the dark ones. Applying different colors and adjusting the contrast among them will help you to get the perfect composition.

Photo by Guido Fuà

Texture Contrast

Have you ever thought of the importance of texture and using it in photos? In basic Texture description, soft and rough or smooth and hard are the two most common ones but they could be varied in the definition. In other words, the differences between the surfaces will result in texture contrast. for example, the water surface is smooth and glassy while the ice surface is hard and breakable.

How to start?

Do not forget to look for the textures which have obvious contrast at the first glance because you will be able to yes them easily and create visually cool pictures! If you are an amateur in photography and just started to take pictures or even have become interested in high contrast photography recently, modify your camera setting and choose the Monochrome or black and white option. It is a quite fundamental way! That will help you to remove the colors which confuse you and instead, improve your concentration on only two colors at the beginning.

Credit: Samin Mousavi

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