Canon PowerShot G12, Contrast

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We just saw that you can use color as a strong compositional tool. You can also introduce contrast through different geometric shapes that battle (in a good way) for the attention of the viewer. You can combine circles and triangles, ovals and rectangles, curvy and straight, hard and soft, dark and light, and so many more (Figure 9.8). You aren’t limited to just one contrasting element either. Combining more than one element of contrast will add even more interest. Look for these contrasting combinations whenever you are out shooting, and then use them to shake up your compositions.

The angular lines of the building play nicely against the softer edges of the shadow.
Figure 9.8 The angular lines of the building play nicely against the softer edges of the shadow.

One of the most effective uses of color is to combine two contrasting colors that make the eye move back and forth across the image (Figure 9.9). There is no exact combination that will work best, but consider using dark and light colors, like red and yellow, or blue and yellow, to provide the strongest contrasts.

The bright orange wall contrasts with the gray cement and weathered wood, which also focuses your eye on the brightly colored boots.
Figure 9.9 The bright orange wall contrasts with the gray cement and weathered wood, which also focuses your eye on the brightly colored boots.