Actually there are no colors, only light. According to the light intensity and the angle of impact on the object, we perceive what color the object is. This being the case, the clearest reflection of this distinction The contrast feature has also been used throughout history. is a term that comes up. Although its definition is relatively recent, it can be seen in pictures made hundreds of years ago, even in newly developed games. contrast is the most noted feature.

What is contrast

The answer to the question was given almost a hundred years ago. Throughout this process, all visual artists made works and arrangements in line with this definition. The reason why the contrast feature is so important today, even in digital art, is that it is the most important detail that makes the image visual. Bride what is contrast, what is it for, what are its types

Let’s take a closer look at questions like and see their importance in a little more detail.

What is contrast?

The most basic definition of contrast is the difference between the darkest and brightest point on an image. Because there were no colors in the early years of photography this definition was also made as the blackest and whitest point, but now when we think that colors are everywhere, it would be more accurate to evaluate it as the difference between the points where the light is the most intense and the lowest.

Although contrast is a widely used photography term today, it is actually not only in photography, but also in photography. is an important element in all visual arts. Contrast is of great importance in a painting drawn in the Renaissance period or in a computer game with newly developed great graphics. Because the factor that creates the narrative of the objects you see on a visual is contrast.

What does contrast do?

Let’s think like this; You take a photo and there are six objects in front of you. If you are in an environment with natural lighting the brightness of each object will be different. At this point, it is important to note which one will come to the fore. Low contrast can present all objects as a whole, while high contrast can present all those objects as separate elements.

The important thing in the use of contrast is what is meant to be conveyed with that image. For this reason, there are discussions of philosophy and art on contrast. Because when you want to express something you can say by writing thousands of words with a single image, the most important weapons are colors and lights.An image created with the right contrasts can be more impressive than a book with ten volumes.

Where is contrast used?

It is possible to encounter contrast in everything that is visual. However, in works created by hand, oil paintings, pencil drawings, in illustrations, digital artworks and other images, since the level of light and color is adjusted by the artist, it is sufficient for the person to know only what contrast is and to create appropriate narratives.

The reason why the term contrast is so intertwined with photography is that the photographer’s dream is trying to capture the image instead of creating it.An improperly adjusted camera or a light that is not captured at the right time can ruin the contrast value of the entire photo, leaving nothing but a simple image.

At this point, Photoshop and similar image editing programs come to the fore. Because even if it doesn’t have the right contrast value, a editing the photo through such programs and it’s even possible to recreate it. In other words, thanks to these programs, the photographer can also work as a painter.

What are the contrast types?

As we have explained, the definition of the term contrast was made by Johannes Itten, who lived between 1888 and 1967, almost a hundred years ago. a Swiss expressionist artist and teacher at the Bauhaus School.Itten identified 7 basic types of contrast and explained that an artist would express himself with one of these types.

  • Light and dark
  • cold and hot
  • Color tones
  • Complementary colors
  • Simultaneous contrast
  • Saturation
  • The amount of light and color

Light and dark

low color tones in a contrast adjusted with light and dark, lots of shade, bright light areas so the image will have strong contrast. Low contrast for this genre allows us to see an image as a whole and focus only on small and noticeable objects.

cold and hot

The contrast value, which is regulated by cold and warm colors, which we can now arrange even with the smart phone effectdollar series, is just as important for the visual. Red is the warmest color and blue is the coldest.No matter how you arrange between these two extremes, the visual narrative power will change, resulting in a landscape like the one we often encounter at sunsets.

Color tones

A contrast created by using the differences between color tones is an important element that supports the narrative of the image. between the colors used The greater the tonal difference, the greater the contrast value. Red and orange are considered low contrast, red and green are considered high contrast.

Complementary colors

Itten’s complementary color theory is somewhat unusual. A primary color that is not included in the intermediate colors formed by the combination of the primary colors is the complementary color accordingly. Example; The complement of the green color, which is formed by the combination of blue and yellow, is red.Because there is never red in green. Such examples can be multiplied.

Simultaneous contrast

Simultaneous contrast describes the illusion images that we have seen in the internet world for years. E.g; Placing yellow objects on a gray background allows us to perceive the background in purple. It is possible to say that there is a connection between contrast and science, as this theory points out to make eye games on the human mind.


The saturation rate is also called quality. To edit the saturation of an image, strong and prominent colors are used. The contrast value that emerges as a result of supporting this saturation level with light will show how high quality an image is.

The amount of light and color

The amount of light and color used is as important as how they are used. Think of the bright full moon you see on a starless night. The moon shining with a high brightness in all that darkness will add a new dimension to the whole image. It is naturally difficult to obtain, but when captured it is a sight not to be missed.

Feeding the narrative power of images what is contrast, what are its types, what is it good for and we explained the details you need to know about the subject. What we describe here is for informational purposes only. As a result, an artist can determine his own rules according to what he wants to convey.

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Michael Lewis


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