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

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Lesson 19. Try It in Black and White

Color is extremely seductive; it has an enormous pull on both our eyes and our emotions. In broad strokes, the brighter and more saturated the color, the greater the pull on the eye, and as there can only be so much impact in a photograph, it is often those elements of brighter color that get all our attention, pulling the eye of the viewer away from other significant elements. Lines and moments often get overpowered by color, and there are times when the colors and how we respond emotionally to them conflict with the story in the photograph. If, for example, you’re creating a photograph about a tragic event, the presence of happy colors like bright yellow can pull our emotions in the opposite direction, creating ...

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