Emphasize with color contrast

JJWP374There are two types of contrast used in photography. First is the tonal contrast, mostly used in black and white photography. It is the variance between the light and dark parts of an image. In between the white and black are various tonal range, think of it as gradations of gray. The second type is color contrast. Looking at the color wheel you will see the colors near each other and those directly opposite. Color theory and concepts are complicated matters. I think there are even courses on these. It’s because colors and their relationship with one another are important to a lot of people and their profession such as designers, painters, graphic and visual artists. It is a primary element of design, and even in areas of advertising, marketing and promotion, color plays an important role. It creates mood, emotions, character, temperament and personality. Needless to say, the importance is carried in color photography. Understanding colors and how they complement and interact with each other will greatly help in composition. In an earlier post we touched on selective focus to emphasize a subject. You can do likewise with color contrast. A green apple in a red background or surrounding will stand out. In the color wheel, those colors that are directly opposite each other are called complementary colors. Of course the just mentioned example will also work the other way around – a red subject against a predominantly green background. So will yellow against violet or blue. Such as in the picture above. The yellow rubber ducky will get your attention not only because it seems to be looking at you but also because it is set in a blue surrounding. You get to highlight your subject with the deliberate use of color contrast. Now spotting this situation in the real world will need some getting used to, especially for those starting out. But for the keen photographer, he will easily notice a subject that stands out because of its color in relation to its background. He is trained to scan, spot and notice. After all, the first code of photographers is not to shoot, but to observe. Get a more detailed understanding of our topic by reading the article How Contrast Affects Your Photos by David Peterson, founder of online site Digital Photo Secrets.


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