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Basics of Texture, Pattern and Contrast Photography

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For certain exclusive photography genres, the photographer will have to trust and depend on his/her own skills, experience and calibre to get the right results and the best ones at it. Even though the camera’s features can help in getting good results, the composition quality is largely dependent on the photographer’s skill.

The vital feature of photography is composition. Setting composition effectively for a picture plays a big role in creating eye-catchy pictures. That process is vast and takes patient learning and experimentation. Photography courses usually deal with this quite elaborately.

To understand more about the scope of basic features like composition, let us look at three basic exclusive photography genres that concentrate on specific elements of an ideal composition.


Texture Photography


In Texture Photography, the subject is the surface layer of any material or structure like the rock, tree or leaves.

To start with, contrast plays a big role in composing the images of textures. Primarily there are three elements that are important to consider to produce a good texture image.


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There are two types of contrast. First is the contrast that is within the texture in the image which are the shadows formed in between the ups and downs on the surface.

Second is the background contrast that contrasts the texture of the object with the background of the image forming the core interest. Professional photographers from many a top photography training institute suggest that illuminating side lights on a texture image shows the contrast properly.




There are two types of curves in a texture image. Leading curves direct the eye of the viewer towards the centre of the image viz. petals of a flower that point to the centre of the flower bud. Non-leading curves generally spread all through the image viz. leaves of a touch-me-not plant.

Curves utilized in a texture of the image should create harmony with the rest of the image or else the primary point of the image will not be communicated.


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Contrast Photography


Contrast is defined as the range of difference between different tones in a photograph. The dark and light tones are the differentiating factors in black and white photos. Colours of various elements that stand out sharply from each other are counted as contrast in colour photography.

Often contrast of an image is understood as a post processing element where the tones of the image are adjusted using contrast tools. But contrast photography is about capturing different tones in the colours that appear while clicking the pictures itself. This means that the post process will have lesser relevance. Many professional photographers teach the same thing in their photography classes to clarify this point.


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A good contrast photography sample is an image with the composition of different types of tones in one photograph. For this, burning a photograph is one of the best trick. Burning in photography means the over-exposure of a subject or using the dodge tool in the post processing.

Hence areas that are dodged in a picture have high contrast while the rest has low contrast.

Photographers usually give an assignment of contrast photography to their students at a photography school for a better understanding of contrast photography and contrast in a photograph.


Pattern Photography


Patterns are repetitions of shapes, objects or colours in a precise order or in a scattered manner within a scene. Professional photography courses in India have pattern photography as one of the basic topics assigned for their students.


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There are 3 different types of patterns. They are;


Regular Patterns


Regular patterns have repeated occurrences of a single form of element that are easily identifiable. They look beautiful especially when they are colourful. For example, a row of soldiers standing in their uniforms is a good regular pattern photograph.


Irregular Patterns


These are randomly placed objects in a scene that are fairly close to each other giving a sense of repetition viz. a sky full of parachutes that are scattered here and there but still form a pattern.


Multiple Patterns


Multiple patterns constitute regular and irregular pattern of objects in one photograph. This makes the image a very interesting one.

Learning these specific elements of photography and working exclusively on them is an interesting exercise. The level of expertise in a photographer’s understanding of these vivid elements helps to identify an amateur and a professional.

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