Why are light colors bright

Chiaroscuro contrast

The chiaroscuro contrast is the difference in brightness between two colors. Bright Colors shine closer to be, dark farther away. Colors shine most vividly against a black background and fade against a light one.

Illustration: Same color, background light and dark. The geranium stands in front of a light background in the first picture and a dark background in the second. The red glows more strongly against a dark background. I photographed the same geranium from a different angle. The light background is the sky, the dark one a hedge one meter away.

If I want to let colors shine, I set up the camera and motif so that it is in front of a dark background or use an "artificial" dark background, for example a cardboard box.

The leaves of the Liliace glow against a black background.

The strongest chiaroscuro contrast is that between black and white.

Elmar Baumann, April 16, 2005.

Last update: December 24th, 2008.