22 Oct Tips for High Contrast Street Photography

Source: Street Hunters

One of the fabulous things about street photography is the myriad of different styles it offers. All different flavours and colours of shooting can fall under the street photography genre umbrella: black and white street photography, street portraits, colour street photography, slow shutter speed street photography, and of course flash street photography and off-camera flash street photography to name but a few! The technique I want to discuss today is a really effective one to use if you are a street photographer who enjoys creating street shots with punchy, powerful graphic quality, often with natural light, but sometimes even with artificial light. It is known as high contrast street photography.

What is High Contrast Street Photography?

The aim of high contrast street photography is to create street photos which show a clear delineation between light and dark, or ‘highlights’ and ‘shadows’. The Cambridge English dictionary definition of the word ‘contrast describes it as being: “an obvious difference between two or more things” so you can easily see how it can be applied to the differences between light and dark areas of a photograph. You can see several examples of my own attempts at creating high contrast street photos throughout this blog post. One of the great aspects of high contrast street photography is that it lends itself brilliantly to both monochrome (black and white) and colour street photography. As high contrast street photography is concerned with creating intense tones and clear contrasts between light and dark, it lends itself very well to black and white street photography (a medium where exposure is king), and also to colour street photography (where the high contrast effect pits vibrant colours against heavy black shadows)…


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