The most important concept in photographic art is ‘Contrast’. Contrast in photography and the many different applications of the words can be relevantly applied when considering photographic art.

Contrast of light and dark
As the study of light, photographic art should feature some contrast of light and dark. Brightness catches the eye and darkness keeps the eye. Be careful because the camera sees this relationship differently from the eye. For example the beautiful mid-day contrasts of light and dark become too harsh for the camera.
Contrast of colour
This might be a bright red roof in a green field. Contrast of colour can be distracting during composition. It should be considered in post-processing when the artist considers selective saturation and desaturation.
Contrast of temperature
A voyage from cold to warmth can be a powerful tool in conveying atmosphere and feeling in a scene. The cold colours are the blues, the neutral colours are the greens and the warm colours are the reds.
Contrast of subject matter
In Iceland it is possible to photograph Ice and Fire in the same scene, this is a powerful instance of a subject matter contrast. Look out for other juxtapositions such as a delicate flower amongst rocks or a tree in a desert.
Contrast of contrast
An image should not be packed with contrast. During post processing consider having some areas with very little contrast. This will make the contrasty areas stand out and lead the eye much better.

Godafoss Red

The one thing we agreed on was to leave our tents erect and stay another night at the falls.

Moss on red

This is a strange volcanic lake. It goes very deep in places and used to be the deepest lake in Iceland.


I demonstrate a lightroom preset on this photo of Brunahorn in East Iceland.

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