Compositional Elements, Continued
Color contrast is an effective compositional element just as tone is in black-
and-white compositions. Colors with opposite characteristics contrast
strongly when placed together. Each contrasting color accentuates the
qualities of the other and makes images stand out dramatically. You can
enhance the effects of color contrast by contrasting detail against mass.
Unfortunately, color also deceives. People gravitate toward color and relate
to color more easily than black-and-white. Colors may have different hues
but same or similar tonal values. Same or similar tonal values blend together
in subsequent black-and-white reproduction, rendering the hues
To evaluate the effectiveness of color compositions, imagine the image in
black-and-white and apply the general rules of composition. Here are some
general guidelines regarding color in compositions:
Cool colors (bluish) and warm colors (reddish) almost always contrast.
Cool colors recede, warm colors advance.
Light colors contrast against dark colors.
Bold colors offset weak colors.
Colors may be different in hue but the same in tonal representation.
Colors may be different in hue but the same in intensity.
Color intensity or saturation determines tonal representations.
Colors may be of the same hue but different in intensity and tonal
Continued on next page