changingminds.org

How we change what others think, feel, believe and do

| Menu | Quick | Books | Share | Search | Settings |

Tone Contrast

 

Explanations > Perception > Visual Perception > Tone Contrast

Description | Example | Discussion | So what?

 

Description

Tone contrast is the perceptual difference between two monochrome hues. The highest contrast is between black and white. In between are shades o of gray.

When black is placed next to white, they are clearly different. You can see which is black and which is white. When two grays are placed next to one another, it can be far more difficult to see the difference.

Tones can also be seen in colors, for example in the range from a dark red to a bright red.

Example

In the monochrome spectrum from black to white, no edge can be seen even though contrast can be seen between separated areas.

In the example below, a clear and strong contrast can be seen in the black/white boxes. There is far less contrast between the gray boxes and, even though the boundary can clearly be seen, it is far less distinct than the high-contrast black/white version.

Tones are also seen in hues, such as the clear contrast between the two reds below and the lower contrast between the two greens.

Discussion

Tone contrast is different to hue contrast, where different colors stand out more or less when placed next to one another. This is caused by the structure of the eye (and the consequent interpretation by the brain), where the black and white amplitude of luminosity is detected separately from the frequency of hue.

In photographic processing, it is typical to edit for tones first, seeking to increase tonal contrast so there is a balance of darks and lights through the picture. This usually results in the image being more pleasing. Sometimes a low range of tones is used for a deliberate effect. When they are mostly light, it is called 'high key', and when they are mostly dark, it is called 'low key'. When the range of tones are mostly middle grays, the result can be rather dull.

There is an effect in images where two different hues of the same luminosity placed next to one another cause some confusion to the eye, as it sees hue contrast but not luminosity contrast. The result can be that the image seems to somehow shimmer. The artist Monet used this effect in paintings such as his 'Sunset in Venice' painting, where the sun and sky have similar luminance. Notice below how the sun in the first image disappears when this is desaturated (hues removed, leaving only tones) in the second image.

Note also in the picture how the dark boat stands out. This is because much of the rest of the image is in mid-tones, making this one dark object an immediate focus of attention. This principle applies generally, that if there is mostly X, then Y contrasts with all that X and so Y is more easily noticed.

So what?

Notice the effect of tones and use them deliberately in images. Make things pleasing with a wide range of contrast or high key/low key constraint. Use tone to make things stand out and match other items.

See also

Contrast principle

 

Site Menu

| Home | Top | Quick Links | Settings |

Main sections: | Disciplines | Techniques | Principles | Explanations | Theories |

Other sections: | Blog! | Quotes | Guest articles | Analysis | Books | Help |

More pages: | Contact | Caveat | About | Students | Webmasters | Awards | Guestbook | Feedback | Sitemap | Changes |

Settings: | Computer layout | Mobile layout | Small font | Medium font | Large font | Translate |

 

You can buy books here

More Kindle books:

And the big
paperback book


Look inside

 

Please help and share:

 

Quick links

Disciplines

* Argument
* Brand management
* Change Management
* Coaching
* Communication
* Counseling
* Game Design
* Human Resources
* Job-finding
* Leadership
* Marketing
* Politics
* Propaganda
* Rhetoric
* Negotiation
* Psychoanalysis
* Sales
* Sociology
* Storytelling
* Teaching
* Warfare
* Workplace design

Techniques

* Assertiveness
* Body language
* Change techniques
* Closing techniques
* Conversation
* Confidence tricks
* Conversion
* Creative techniques
* General techniques
* Happiness
* Hypnotism
* Interrogation
* Language
* Listening
* Negotiation tactics
* Objection handling
* Propaganda
* Problem-solving
* Public speaking
* Questioning
* Using repetition
* Resisting persuasion
* Self-development
* Sequential requests
* Storytelling
* Stress Management
* Tipping
* Using humor
* Willpower

Principles

* Principles

Explanations

* Behaviors
* Beliefs
* Brain stuff
* Conditioning
* Coping Mechanisms
* Critical Theory
* Culture
* Decisions
* Emotions
* Evolution
* Gender
* Games
* Groups
* Habit
* Identity
* Learning
* Meaning
* Memory
* Motivation
* Models
* Needs
* Personality
* Power
* Preferences
* Research
* Relationships
* SIFT Model
* Social Research
* Stress
* Trust
* Values

Theories

* Alphabetic list
* Theory types

And

About
Guest Articles
Blog!
Books
Changes
Contact
Guestbook
Quotes
Students
Webmasters

 

| Home | Top | Menu | Quick Links |

© Changing Works 2002-2016
Massive Content — Maximum Speed