Low Contrast vs High Contrast in Photography

Low Contrast vs High Contrast in Photography

Do you tend to get disappointed by the photo you capture: that it shows a different result than what you see with your own eyes? It probably happens because of the inaccurate light effect, either high contrast or low contrast. What are those? Here are the full explanations that you need to know about this important component in photography.

What is Contrast?

In the past, photography only revolved around either dark and light elements. It happens due to lack of colours and details. As technology advances, you now can dive into a composition and identify the difference between one critical element to another further. Rather than only shadow and highlights, you actually can control others.

The examples are colour, tones, and textures. Additionally, you are capable of adding new dimensions to your contrast setting. Anything is possible these days; Therefore, the flexibility of course advantages you to achieve a better result and a more eye-catching look of a photo.

Important Types of Contrast in Photography

High contrast and low contrast are perhaps the most popular types. However, there are fair selections to set contrast to your photos. Here are some available types along with their best times to use them.

1. Colour Contrast

If you are familiar with photography, you may notice that colours are distinguished into three: primary colours, secondary colours, and tertiary colours. They all exist in the well-known colour wheel, appearing in contrast to the one on the opposite side of a colour.

For example, blue sits across orange, and red exists on the opposite side of green. This contrast is usually called complementary colours. Instead of standing individually, the pairing will create quite an odd harmony. However, placing colour contrast in a photograph is quite complicated.

However, you may get an astonishing result if you manage to tackle the challenge. If you are unsure of your capability, do not worry at all. There are quite a lot of services out there that are willing to assist you, including photo retouching services.

2. Low Contrast vs High Contrast

Low contrast definitely presents a subtle appearance of a photo. It may include a lot of middle tones of the tonal range. For example, you will apply more grey colour rather than a solid black or white. If you aim for a gentle or a calm appearance, putting a low contrast on your photography is the best option.

For example, your picture contains a nice picture of a sleeping baby in a quiet room. Rather than using an intense colouration, it is more suitable to use a low contrast to also represent the story of a sleeping baby to the viewers. On the contrary, high contrast makes it more intense.

Additionally, it provides you the opportunity to highlight the difference between darker and brighter elements of a photograph. One of the most popular photos to use the type is a sunset as it is capable of catching a beautiful silhouette. If you want to use this, make sure that your aim is to increase a strong point of a component in your photography.

Despite this, you also can play with the intensity of colours as well as surface textures. The result depends on your goals.

3. Tonal Contrast

Tonal contrast is probably the most used type, especially if you wish to build an image. However, through time, cameras are getting more advanced. They now are able to capture details that were overlooked in the past. Despite this, it does not mean tonal contrast is neglected.

In the presence of it, images can reach a higher definition better. For example, you have captured a full moon in a dark sky. Relying autofocus on a camera may already benefit you with a great appearance. However, some details can be enhanced using tonal contrast.

You can use a massive range of colours despite just having two colours in one photo. One slight difference or shift is capable of changing various aspects of a photography. If you succeed in editing, your photo may turn into a high definition one.

4. High-Key and Low-Key

High-key and low-key do not involve high contrast but apparently the low one. The terms are quite commonly found when you apply low contrast on a photograph. So, what is the difference between the two? The difference lies in the colour or tonal values.

For example, using high-key will benefit your photography to have brighter tonal values which exist on the lighter end of the colour scale. The darker tones are quite unnecessary in creating contrast in it. On the other hand, the contrary applies for the low-key one. You will need to play with the black or darker tones instead of the brighter ones.

Ready to Enhance Your Photo?

Contrast is one of the important elements in photography. You can make your image less dull and more eye-catching to the viewers. However, using either low or high contrast depends on your goals. If you are still confused about which option is the best, there is an image retouching service that will help you to get a better result for your photography.

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