Contrast & Vision – Part 1

Some essentials related to contrast and human vision. Important to understand how this affects your images and, in turn, a viewer’s perception of your images.

Understanding the nature of light

Is essential to understanding contrast

Understanding the role of contrast in human vision

Is essential to understanding how (& what) we see

And so we begin….

Click to enlarge for detail

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 Top Row: Color Capture ….. B&W Capture

Bottom: Capture with Enhanced Contrast

Without increased contrast, the texture is nearly invisible

The camera captured it, but it took added contrast to bring it out

If you want to show texture, tonal contrast is needed


What do our eyes see?

Our eyes see light & its components which include

Color and

Tone (brightness)

They are receptors for visual stimuli


What happens to the signal received by our eyes?

It is sent to the brain for processing

The combination of eyes + brain = the vision system

Flaws in either part will affect what we “see”

Eye: A common “eye flaw” leads to color blindness

Brain: Dyslexia is a problem originating in the brain

Skipping one or two small details 😉

The brain relies almost totally on contrast

To complete our vision (seeing)

If there is no contrast for our eyes to discern

The brain will not “detect” anything and

We will see nothing

The better the contrast, the better we see


Is everyone’s vision system the same?

Not everyone sees (interprets)

Identical colors or tones to be the same as the next person sees

(and your dog sees everything in black & white)

The point is that there is no “one single color & tone”

When it comes to what human vision (eye + brain)  “sees”

Even when presented with identical stimuli

It’s important to realize that not everyone will see your image

as you saw or captured it

Don’t assume that they do

(And that doesn’t even consider the role of emotion)

It’s a common joke about referees being blind

How about color-blind photo judges?


Even you, as an individual, will misjudge colors and tones

Depending on their physical surround

Further, you will respond differently to the same image

from time to time, depending things like

Your mood, your culture, ….

———————————

Do the two reds “look” the same? The greens?

(Apologies to those who are color blind)

They are the 100% identical, but appear to be different because of the

Contrast difference (B&W) of the surrounding space

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———————————

Is the tone (brightness) of all three ovals the same?

Again, as in the above color example –

They are identical in tone, but appear to be different because of the

Contrast difference (B&W) of the surrounding space

6-3-2013 11-22-24 AM

Are you beginning to think – Contrast really makes a difference!

It does and may be the most important difference between a good & great image


The examples suggest that there are (at least) two forms of contrast –

Color contrast

Tonal contrast

(as well as absolute & relative contrast)

Which makes a good stopping point and segue to tomorrow’s post


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Beautiful, Beautiful Brown Eyes

Another in my photo-a-day series. Same frame, a fence, but a very different subject from the past three subjects (barns) – today, a barn resident.

Darling (her name) & I formed a bond

A wide (12 mm) angle lens, 8 inches from Darling’s nose_DSC3442_orig nx2wb-dl cep4sep2lum56brdr

Another example of an explicit frame; the fence serves little other purpose


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Yet Another Fence Framed Barn

Another in my photo-a-day series

Another barn framed by a fence; in this case the fence is more than just a frame

Same barn as two posts back; two years later; shot from opposite side122608229.P2dwZxzU.0905aD300_090430_135727__DSC0193_nx

Framing your subject is an effective compositional technique. The frames can be explicit, as in this image, or more subtle as I’ll illustrate in later posts.


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More Frames Out of Fences

Been very busy getting the new home settled. Unpacking, contractors, new drivers license, car registration, voting registration, new electronics – and the list goes on and on and…..

Another barn with a fence frame17_DSC4035_nc4_pwp-filterblur-sub162_resize


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Floored!

A short iPhone 6 Plus photo post. Still settling into my new home. More informative posts in a week or so.

I’m a fan of abstracts. While nothing special, this image qualifies. Taken right after getting out of bed (an air mattress actually 😦 , since the furniture didn’t arrive until mid-afternoon) on our first morning here. It’s the early morning sun streaming through a window and lighting a section of the hickory hardwood floor.6 Plus_150731_105159_IMG_1372-1I Was Floored by the Sight

Camera switched itself to an auto-HDR mode


And here’s another section of the floor without the sun, window pane shadows, high contrast, and HDR. This how it really looks.

6 Plus_150731_115228_IMG_1334-1


Captured with an iPhone 6 Plus

Straight from the camera (including the square aspect ratio)


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An Old Truck – or is it?

#11 in a series of ten automated daily posts that illustrate camera phone images that fall outside the realm of conventional point & shoots. Yes, my counting skills leave something to be desired. Something like Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy trilogy that ended up with five books.

I’m in my new home and getting unpacked and settled. Still a way to go and I’m completely beat. I’ll keep doing these short posts for another week or so until things return to normal (whatever normal is).

6 Plus_150805_161643_IMG_0846-1A Vintage Pickup?

Captured with an iPhone 6 Plus

(Color & tonal contrast adjustments with Snapseed)


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