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The Visual Toolbox: 60 Lessons for Stronger Photographs by David duChemin

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Lesson 18. Explore Color Contrast

While we’re on the subject of intentional use of color, consider the role of contrasting colors in your compositions. Contrasting colors—at least the way I will refer to them—are not colors that clash and work against each other, but colors that are considered complementary. When you look at the color wheel, it’s the colors lying across from each other that are considered complementary, and it’s there you’ll find ideas about using color contrast. But why consider this at all?

Stronger color contrast introduces stronger visual mass to the contrasting element, pulling the eye with greater strength. It can also give the image a greater sense of depth, because color contrast creates separation—the principle, in general ...

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