A&P Tutorial: How To Create Contrast

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by delslow, Jan 22, 2007.

  1. delslow

    delslow my car may not be fast, but the back window goes d

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    Hey guys, I just wanted to create this quick tutorial on how to create contrast in an image editing program. I'm sure many of you know how to do this, but there are plenty of new guys getting into photography and I thought it would be good to create this.

    First off, what is contrast? Contrast is the difference between a drab grey photograph and an image with a full range of bright to dark. Contrast helps make your photographs pop and stand out.

    I'll guide you through how to do this in just a few steps, for the tutorial i'll use a picture that I took of the Tyn Church in Prague's Old Town Square.

    [​IMG]

    You can use any image editor to create contrast. You may have seen a contrast slider where you can up the contrast levels in an image. I feel this doesn't work very well and doesn't give you enough flexibility. The best tool for creating contrast is the curves dialog. In GIMP this is under Layer->Color->Curves. In Photoshop the curves dialog can be found under Image->Adjust->Curves. So open up your curves dialog, it'll look something like this.

    [​IMG]


    So we're going to be making our darks darker and our brights brighter. Click on the curve at 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 along the line. Now drag the line down at the dot on the 1st quarter (making our darks darker) and drag the line up at 3/4 (making our lights lighter) and hit OK

    [​IMG]


    That's it! Now you've added some contrast to your image.

    [​IMG]

    Play around with the curves levels, as you can easly adjust how much contrast by creating a curvier line. After you complete this on one of your photos, post up your work, i'd enjoy seeing it!
     
  2. mobbarley

    mobbarley Active Member

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  3. Airpoppoff

    Airpoppoff Vodka > Racing F1

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    hsughhighfive
     
  4. Jonny Chimpo

    Jonny Chimpo OT Supporter

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  5. Changed

    Changed Guest

  6. s0ber

    s0ber New Member

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    uhhh that picture looks like ass! but werd.. hsugh?? trend?
     
  7. delslow

    delslow my car may not be fast, but the back window goes d

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    Why do you think it looks like ass? I always enjoy construtive criticism so that I can be a better photographer, but just saying it looks like ass isn't going to help me.
     
  8. This is OT, if you want to share a tutorial and have some intellectual responses I'd suggest sharing with another photo forum.
     
  9. Jonny Chimpo

    Jonny Chimpo OT Supporter

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    The before version had the correct amount of contrast, the after version is asstastic because the shadows have begun to block up and the detail in highlight areas has begun to disappear. You can see it in the brickwork and spires of the building.

    The building didn't need any additional contrast at all, the sky might have benefited from getting punched up a bit, but maybe not. A mask should have been used to select only the sky.

    Contrast adjustments can be a dangerous thing, photos are supposed to have midtones and they are supposed to have details in the highlight and shadow areas....if those details begin to disappear then the photo begins to look really bad, really fast.
     
  10. PonySpanker

    PonySpanker New Member

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    An alternate way to add contrast is to use unsharp mask. Set the Amount to something low like 10-20 or so. Move the Radius over until you have the desired amount of added contrast.
     
  11. joy division

    joy division New Member

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    Some times you don't want those details...it is all up to the photographer.

    The majority of my black and white concert work is super high contrast, but that is generally to kill the shadows b/c of super high iso.
     
  12. delslow

    delslow my car may not be fast, but the back window goes d

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    I enjoy high contrast, maybe a bit too much. Oh well, i'll file this thread under the 'thread failure' section :o
     
  13. joy division

    joy division New Member

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    it just looks like shit to me because it seems like a 1.3 megapixel image at 500% :dunno:
     
  14. mattsb2000

    mattsb2000 OT Supporter

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    :bowrofl:
     
  15. s0ber

    s0ber New Member

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    thats what i meant
     
  16. Jonny Chimpo

    Jonny Chimpo OT Supporter

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    well, I think the contrast looks like ass....guess I'm alone. :dunno:
     
  17. mattsb2000

    mattsb2000 OT Supporter

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    [​IMG]
     
  18. Jonny Chimpo

    Jonny Chimpo OT Supporter

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    whiskey tango foxtrot, ghostrider?

    I mean, sure, every thread could use some wierd anime manga shit, but what the hell is going on there?
     
  19. mattsb2000

    mattsb2000 OT Supporter

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    I don't know. :hsughno:

    But we can get real fucking wierd in here if you like.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Jonny Chimpo

    Jonny Chimpo OT Supporter

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    nah man. Manga>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>*.all for wierd.
     
  21. delslow

    delslow my car may not be fast, but the back window goes d

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    [​IMG]
     
  22. Airpoppoff

    Airpoppoff Vodka > Racing F1

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    I would suggest more motion blur for this kind of picture :rolleyes:
     
  23. delslow

    delslow my car may not be fast, but the back window goes d

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    maybe i should create a tutorial on motion blurring.... or on second thought I don't think I will.
     
  24. eof

    eof New Member

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  25. joy division

    joy division New Member

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    literally laughing out loud <--
     

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