trees during sunset


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Understanding how contrast works can greatly improve your photos. There are several kinds of contrast to talk about. Let’s go through them:


Photos that have some major differences between dark and light can greatly improve some of your photos. Some photos, of course, should not have much contrast at all, and learning how to see the light in your frame is what you need to look for. Black and white photos are often used a lot to create great contrast, and that is why black and white will be around for a long time. It is because the better the contrast between dark and light, or the blacks and the whites are what makes a good black and white photo. For more information about how to do black and white successfully try going to this site:


To get good contrast in color photos, shadows have to play a big part in your photo. When you take a picture at noon, there is just not much shadows that look good. They are short and really add nothing to the photo. However, taking photos, say, at the Golden Hour, your shadows are long, and makes the photo look amazing. If you want good contrast in your photos, look to shoot in morning or sunset.

white and brown trees on forest during daytime
Photo by Pixabay on


yellow balloon on blue background
Photo by Deeana Arts on

Bold dynamic colors are a great way to really get someone excited about contrast. This is just an example of how you take a bright color, and mix it with a dark color. Here are some more examples of contrast in color:

red and white petaled flowers
Photo by João Jesus on

Putting a brilliant color with a dark background is perfect. It’s not a black background, but a complimentary dark green color, and that is what makes this photo so amazing. This may be a practice of “Seeing Light”. Check this out:

lady in beach silhouette during daytime photography
Photo by Jill Wellington on

Of course, a silhouette is a great way to get contrast in your photos. This is done by just making sure there is a strong light behind your subject (the sun is a popular way to do this). And you can create your own source for doing silhouettes. Like this photo:

silhouette photo of woman
Photo by Engin Akyurt on

For more information about shooting silhouettes, go to:


There are obviously a lot of different ways to do contrast in photography. Look at the above examples and pick the one you would like to master.

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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: