Contrast is usually at its highest when a scene is backlit. In this image there wasn’t much that could be done to lighten the shadows. I exposed so that the highlights weren’t too badly burnt out and didn’t worry too much about the shadows. Contrast […]
How To Add Contrast To Landscape Photos
Adding contrast to a landscape photo is one way to make it a more compelling image. When we think of the word “contrast” we usually think about contrasting colors or brightness. But, there’s also another type of contrast that you can capture in your images: subjective contrast.
Here’s a quick look at the different types of contrast and how you can capture them in your images:
The most common way of adding more contrast to your images is photographing a scene with strong contrasting colors. With landscape photography, this is usually pretty easy to do around the “golden hours” — where you’ll likely have some of your scene in the shade while the rest of the scene is extra saturated with that warm light of sunrise or sunset.
For example, the image above shows strong color contrast between red, white, and blue. The rocks were red in this scene because of the warm light of sunrise. And, this red contrasts well with the blue sky. If I waited until later in the day to photograph this scene, then those rocks would have been brown (which doesn’t contrast as well with the blue sky).
Another way to add contrast to your landscape images is to photograph a scene when there’s a strong variation of brightness levels. This is the perfect situation for black and white images, because converting an image to black and white helps de-emphasize color and at the same time it strongly emphasizes differences in brightness.
For example, in the image above there wasn’t much color contrast in the original scene, but there was a strong difference in brightness between the tree and sky. So, I decided to emphasize that contrast by converting the image to black and white (the blue sky became white and the green tree turned black).
The least obvious type of contrast is “subjective” contrast. This simply means that you have at least two subjects in your image that contrast with each other.
For example, the image above shows subjective contrast between two seasons: spring and winter. In the foreground, you can see a bunch of wildflowers that are blooming in the desert (representing spring). And, then in the background you can see a distant mountain covered in snow (representing winter).
What did I miss?
Is there another type of contrast that you like to capture in your landscape images? If so, please share it with us by leaving a comment below, thanks!
Taking amazing photos is something many aspiring amateur photographers strive for. And HDR effects can really make your images pop. Below is a complete toolbox to get you started with HDR photography on your own. Whether you want to go all out and learn how […]
If you want to exhibit your work, here’s an article for you! Find out what to expect from exhibitions, when and when not to exhibit your work, and how to promote yourself. Although photographers often work hard so that they can eventually exhibit their work, […]
few weeks ago I posted this photo on my Instagram account, and several of you requested a tutorial on settings to use for silhouette photos. I took this particular photo with my iPhone, so I decided I would share a tutorial for both! 🙂 Below […]
After many years as a keen amateur photographer, I decided to start a small landscape photography business called Lakescenes which I ran alongside my main job as an IT Manager. As business increased, I found myself working long, but rewarding, hours just to keep up […]
Rob Sheppard is a naturalist, nature photographer and videographer who says his favorite location is the one he is in at any time. He is the author/photographer of over 40 books, as well as a well-known speaker and workshop leader, and a Fellow with the […]
Gary Hart has photographed California’s natural beauty for over 30 years. Gary’s photos and writing have appeared in many publications, most recently Outdoor Photographer and Sierra Heritage magazines. You’ll also find his images in greeting cards, postcards, calendars, and many galleries and private collections throughout the world.
Originally from Poland, based in London UK, Jaroslav has background in Fine Arts, degree in Architecture, and wide array of experience. Being an Architect taught him how to be resourceful and to solve complex problems with simple, yet innovative solutions. Constant passion for graphic & […]
Next time you’re in the countryside at night do yourself a favour: look up. If it’s clear and conditions are right you’ll see a seemingly infinite number of stars twinkling like diamonds on a sheet of black velvet. As a visual pleasure it’s hard to […]
Colour can be distracting. Stripped of colour an image is entirely about the subject (unless of course the entire point of the subject is its colour…). This is particularly true of portraiture. Black and white arguably conveys the inner soul of the subject more powerfully […]