Shapes and Contrast, 1

Without Contrast Your Image is a Blank Slate

It is only through

  • Contrast of tones and/or
  • Contrast of colors (hues)

that shapes, lines and texture appear. Thus, understanding how contrast affects images is important. This is one in a series of articles illustrating contrast effects on images. As we go along, I’ll link the articles to one another in some reasonable order.


True Color vs. Apparent Color – Even when two shapes have identical tones (brightness) and hues (colors), they may appear different to a viewer depending on each shape’s contrast with its surrounding area. Consider the following examples where the smaller squares in each side by side comparison have the identical tone and hue. Due to the difference (black vs. white) of the area surrounding them, they look different to most viewer’s eyes. This illustrates true & apparent color. This could be an important consideration when making images where true color is very important – commercial product images and portraits come to mind.


Click here for Part 2