Subjects for contrast photography #AREKUchallenge

Contrast – Subjects

How do you make a photo “pop”?
Part of the answer might be to work with contrasts.  As a part of the updated version of  my #AREKUchallenge, I will be publishing posts that tie in with the theme of the month, this month the theme is “contrasts”. This way I can share some knowledge, that the participants then can directly make use of when they’re then taking their photos.
The first part regarding contrast will focus on the first thing in the process of a photograph – the subject.

There are subjects that will, more than others, make for a better final picture. What you want to look for are subjects with patterns, interesting structure or scenes where light and shadows makes for an interesting scenery.
The photo above is an example of how I’ve used a pattern (the shape of the roof), with a darker color in the bottom 30% of the picture, and a lighter color (the sky) in the remaining 70%. The choice of black and white is also a well suited post-processing procedure for high-contrast photography, but that is something I’ll take a better look at in a future post.

AREKU Macro raindrop

Below is another photo where I’ve based the contrast on a pattern, in this case a railing with lighting. Due to the photo being taken after dark, I got a natural contrast between the light, leading the viewer into the picture and then up to the left, embraced by darkness. When aiming for contrast, a rule of thumb can be that the fewer elements, the better. Here’s the elements of the picture below:

  • The railing (shape)
  • The light emitted from the railing (main color 1)
  • The darkness (main color 2)

AREKU photo of Lund Centralstation Lund C

But we don’t have to eliminate all colors. Here’s another example of a relativly contrast rich photo, where we have a colorful cloudy blue sky in the foreground, with a dar lightpost in the foreground.



As a landscape enthusiast, i’m happy to say that like many others who shoot this kind of style, are more or less thinking about contrast each time we snap a good landscape photography. Because as I said in the intro, what makes a picture pop? Well, in many cases it is the contrast. If that’s the contrast between colors, between foreground and background, or the angle, may differ from case to case. Below, what I would say that what gives this picture some character, and creates in its turn contrasts, are how the greens in the foreground manages their way up into the center of the image (as the tree) to then be surrounded by the blue sky.

Tree countryside blu sky

Speaking of tress, (and as the title implies) also subjects, I must say that trees makes for a great start if you’re looking for contrast rich subjects.

I hope this article have been useful for you, and I hope to see you implement it in your contributions for the #AREKUchallenge!

More photo-articles:


Leave a Reply