Day Ten: “Triumph” — Turn Up the Contrast

Triumph comes in all shapes and sizes: Your short story, accepted for publication in your favorite magazine. Your baby’s first step. Or the reward at the end of a cold winter walk: a massive elm tree standing beautifully in the light.

What does triumph mean to you?

Today’s Tip: Triumph usually denotes drama, no matter whether it’s big or small. Playing with contrast is a great way to enhance a photo for a more dramatic effect. Pump up the contrast in today’s snapshot.

Day Ten: “Triumph” — Turn Up the Contrast

Contrast in photography generally refers to the difference between the lights and darks in an image — and the interplay between white, black, and gray. When someone says a black-and-white photo has high contrast, oftentimes the white and black are prominent, while a low-contrast image includes subtler tones and layers of gray. In color images, contrast might refer to the juxtaposition of two bright colors, or a cold color (blue) next to a warm color (red).

Tips on increasing or decreasing contrast:

  • Increase to bring out bold accents (a red lantern, a yellow balloon).
  • Increase to make the blacks blacker, the whites whiter.
  • Decrease slightly to even out a blue sky.
  • Don’t boost the contrast too much — you’ll lose the details.
  • Tweak pictures of people with care — you can easily “wash out” faces.

You can use Photoshop, Lightroom, or other software to tweak the contrast on your images, but our favorite free image editors PicMonkey and Pixlr Express work great, too.

Here is a few more photos that show contrast, in both black and white and color:

Photo by Carlos Quintero on Unsplash

This concludes this series of “DEVELOPING YOUR EYE”. I hope you enjoyed this series and you had a chance to think about what you want to do in your photographs. Refer to these often to help you become a great photographer.

STARTING MONDAY, APRIL 26TH, DON’T MISS OUR NEXT SERIES OF “DEVELOPING YOUR EYE” -THE BASICS! Some simple things to think about as you learn photography.

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One of my favorite cameras was not a black camera, but a white one. See this beauty from Pentax:

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