Glen Goffin Photography

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

50 Contrast-ing opinions, or ... sherpas unite

Contrast adds drama. No doubt. But too much drama can really wear you out. MJ and I have been watching America's Next Top Model ... talk about drama! Put 13 anorexic, 80 lb, girl-boy divas in the same room for weeks at a time and watch the cat-fights ... hisssss

If pictures were mountain ranges, contrast is the measure of whether they are the Catskills or the Rockies or the Himalayas. And if viewing a picture is a journey for the eyes, then traveling high contrast images is going to be exhausting! Make sure to bring a Sherpa and pack light. The eyes need variety ... but they also need rest. Mountains and plains. There are rewards as you round each corner and summit each peak but there is peace and rest in the valleys.

On the other side, low contrast images are more desert-like. Subtle variations of hue and color and light. Tone poems. Unless they get too dry. Then they are barren and thirsty places to visit and we can't wait to get back to the mountains again.

A classic reference book is, "Light - Science and Magic" by Hunter, Biver and Fuqua. My 2 cent summary is that lighting can be classified by its degree of contrast-iness (forgive me Mr. Webster). There's soft light and hard light. And where you place the light will affect the resulting contrast and apparent detail in that neighborhood.

For the image above, direct sunlight resulted in a contrasty feel.

Here is another one taken in soft shade. My frail attempts to improve contrast really failed here. The result is a little bit bland. It lacks punch or ... ummm ... pop ... or something. It may just be my white balance is off. Not sure. It wouldn't be the only thing about me that is just a little bit off ... ;D

More later ...
Blessings and peace,


Ángel Corrochano said...

A composition of flowers, colors, textures and unique shapes. Excellent shots. I love those colors.

Glen Goffin said...

Thank you, Angel!

Debra Trean said...

beautiful images.... as always a pleasure to visit...beautiful work

Glen Goffin said...

Thanks, Deb. As you know from your blog, it's always a boost to hear from readers. Thanks!

omami said...

So lovely...wonderful colors!!