The principle of contrast is relatively easy to understand. Contrast adds interest to any photograph. Whether it’s local contrast in specific areas, or global contrast across the entire image, it will almost always add pop to your image.

HDR images that look “fake” have no global contrast. The light is even throughout the entire frame. Personally, I don’t think this looks very natural at all.

An image like this one below has a huge amount of contrast, so much that the blacks go totally black in some areas and the whites are clipped and go completely white. The window is from the inside of the Noah “Bud” Ogle cabin in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

the principles of design in photography - contrast - a window inside an old cabin in the great smoky mountains national park

This image of the same cabin also has contrast that really makes this image stand out.

Here is another great example of the use of contrast. The natural lighting really made this image, lighting the trees in the foreground.

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