How to Make Your Photos Stand Out using Color Contrast

A great way to make your photograph look attractive is to make it pop! One of the best ways of making your photo pop is to use eye catching colors your image. Those colors will have even more impact when paired with a contrasting color, so in this article, we’ll look at how you can apply this idea. There is a simplicity to these kind of photos, and learning which colors pair well together will help a lot. Let’s take a look at contrast, and color contrast photography to see why this works.

Why does contrast work in photography?

Opposites work well together in an artistic sense, concepts like old versus new are good photographic subject matter. One of the simplest forms of contrast is black and white, which is why photographs that were taken in this style look so effective. The best black and white photos often have strong contrast which makes them stand out.

The aim of many photos is to isolate your subject, and by doing so, tell a story. The use of contrast is one way you can isolate a subject from the background, or bring out a strong repeating pattern in a texture photo. It’s also possible to have color contrast as well, but only certain color combinations work well together.

What is color contrast photography?

Getting color contrast is a bit more complex than it is with black and white photography. Color can be broadly split into two groups, cold colors, and warm colors. Color contrast happens when a cold color is paired with a warm color. You can also use complementary colors – that is when warm colors and cold colors (opposite on the color wheel) are in the same photo.

An easy way to visualize this is by looking at a color wheel, which shows colors that are opposite each other. It’s not uncommon to see color contrast occurring naturally in nature with things like fruits and flowers often displaying this concept. The classic color contrasts are yellow/purple, red/green and orange/blue. Using the color wheelcan you come up with some yourself and apply them to your images?

How to take photos that have color contrast

The world is full of color, but it’s often a mess of many different colors. So how do you go about taking photos that have color contrast, if there are so many other colors in the frame? The following are ideas you can use to do color contrast photography.

Finding a good location

Look for places with a solid color, walls often provide this. A red brick wall can contrast against green or blue colors. In some neighbourhoods you might find a wall that has been painted blue or wood paneling that is a particular color. Artistic areas of town are often good hunting grounds. Once you have a strong color background you will need to find something or someone that has the contrasting color.