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Saturday, January 14, 2017

Small Changes in Value Contrast Can Give Clarity

A scene might call to be a subject for painting, but will have so much going on it has no clarity.  Scenes found in historical cities often do that, but so to other subjects.  The photo below caught my eye as typical.  The foreground monument wants attention, but is visually fused with the background structures.  Can it be given clarity?  Let's find out.
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First, let's look at what's causing the visual fusion (resulting in confusion). 
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We can see clearly the background structure and the foreground statue each contain the same degree of value contrast.  That is why they are visual fused.
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I've taken samples from the darkest darks and the lightest lights in each image, confirming how close the value contrast is in each. 
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To give that area visual clarity, we can reduce the contrast in the background structure. The illustration below shows you what will happen.  Look at it and notice to which set of squares your eye sees first.  Answer (of course):  the stronger contrasted set. 
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Applying that principle to this scene, here's what happens. 
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