Don't Ever Do This With Your Camera
Animals looking at the camera

Long Live Contrast !

by Ana Tatu
Ana Tatu
 on August 11, 2014
Up and coming
Up and comingOriginalGreat Value


Photos of a breakfast. In bed. Photos of a lunch. At the beach. Photos of a dinner. A dinner party. You probably have seen all of the above.

In a magazine, “How to have the perfect day”. On a website, “Ten ideas for your summer holiday”. Scrolling Pinterest, “Tips and Tricks to Decorate Your Dinner Table”. Oh, let’s not forget Facebook. A newsfeed full of Instagram shots of what everybody’s eating. So, how can you avoid all of those boring pictures and take a photo that can be fresh and draw attention?

Contrast. Contrast. Contrast.

Take a handful of blackberries and drown them in milk. Black and white. Delicious tiny black little bits and pieces floating in a sea of white. That is what you want in your breakfast bowl.


There. Now, this is not a great photo, but we’re getting there. You build an image from scratch. It’s not a very hard thing to do, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be shooting fruits like there’s no tomorrow. So, you have fruits in a bowl. Perfect. But you don’t get to see very much from this angle and photos shot from above are overrated, really. You must get closer.

Let’s zoom in, see what happens.


We’re now hungry, that happened. But something else did, too. Now we get to see up close a bunch of beautiful black round things floating away in all that innocent white. Get it? Black floating in white. We return to contrast, because that is what we’re using right now.

The good and the bad. The evil fighting the pure and pristine. Or better said, losing since they’re quite drowning. It’s not accidentally that opposite things put together, like these dark fruits in milk, produce a strong impression. It has to do with something ticking in the back of your mind. Unconsciously, we want the good to win. Even if it is just your breakfast. Building imagery involves so much more factors than we actually know. Contrast is a strong tool. Use it wisely.

However, we still didn’t get to that really beautiful and fun photo. We just made another step. Now we have to make the photo engage the viewer more. How do we do that? We give the viewer some control over what he or she is looking at. People love to have control, so let’s give it to them. We shall use a spoon. Yes, we’ve used a spoon in this photo above, but you can’t really tell what’s happening inside that bowl and you can’t see the outline of the spoon.

So, grab a bite. Literally. Get some of those blackberries in you. Eat some. Indulge yourself!

Have you? Are they everything you imagined to be? Really tasty?

A close-up of what it’s really going to happen. We see photos of food everywhere, but it just sits there, quietly, like nobody ever’s going to eat it. Show some eating. Show something real.


Of course it had to be against yellow transparent curtains. You need a lot of white, besides the milk. It’s the good side winning, remember? 

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