Beginner Photography: Contrast

Hey y’all! This week’s topic is “contrast” and that could mean a few things: contrasting colors, contrast between the subject and the setting, contrast between light and dark. I attempted to capture each of these this week. I’m attracted to contrasting light in general, but I’d like to challenge myself to look for color in my shots more often.

My first idea was to shoot my black dog on my already high contrast black and white rug. He’s a reluctant model. I shot him from above to make the carpet fill the background and used Aperture priority to keep my aperture low to gather as much light as I could in my dim living room and blur the background. Please forgive my dirty carpet.

f/3.5, 1/15th, ISO 1600

His paw looks weird because he hurt it and has a bandage on it. Poor pupper.

Then I went through and found an old shot of some green weeds growing through a grate over a rusty red background. 

f/5, 1/80th, ISO 400


And the last one is a shot I took of a safety helmet in the rubble of an abandoned building. Pretty self-explanatory.

f/4.5, 1/80th, ISO 500


These aren’t my most aesthetically pleasing photos, but I think each one properly represents the different types of contrast that Chelsea listed for our topic this week. It’s really just a matter of keeping your eyes open for unusual compositions. I think it’s a great practice to get out of your comfort zone and look at the world around you differently. Are any of you shooting on the theme each week? If so, how has it changed your photography practice?

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6 Responses to Beginner Photography: Contrast

  1. Steve Waller July 25, 2017 at 12:16 pm #

    Nice shots. I try to shoot on theme for each week but I have to admit I struggle with both time and creativity. It is slowly helping me to see more opertunity and hopefully compose better and more interesting pictures.

  2. Roderick July 25, 2017 at 1:13 pm #

    Some great ideas and examples, Siobhán.
    My 5-stars and a pick must go to poor old Hungry and his sore paw. (Ahhhhh…)
    Organic and geometric, black and white, flat and, well, bumpy.
    The direct eye contact of his gaze is a winner. (Did you have a pork chop dangling above the camera ? 😉
    I’ve got to say. “That rug really ties the room together…..”

  3. MrBorgj July 25, 2017 at 3:41 pm #

    This is the first week I’ve entered in the Live Show and hopefully I will be entering each week! BTW, nice shots, I love love love love the dog. So cute! Anyways, the shot I captured this week required me to go out of my way and try different lighting techniques, different angles, different positioning, framing, and I learned so much!

    PS : Next time I would suggest either cleaning up the carpet or intentonally making it worse, to add more character (even though the dog is quite the character) to the picture.

  4. Chris King July 27, 2017 at 11:34 am #

    I like the whole steampunk Hobbit hole vibe of the 2nd pic 🙂

  5. Steven Prokop September 1, 2017 at 10:21 am #

    I think that this was a fun topic. Unfortunately the closest I get to shooting on theme is saying “Hey that’s a fun theme, I should try it.”

    Then I either off topic crap or shoot nothing.

  6. Brandon Lazovic July 19, 2020 at 6:49 pm #

    Nice photos! I talk about this in my latest post, but a big thing about high contrast photography that’s hard to get right is that perfect amount of contrast between whites/blacks in the photo:

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