How do you get pop in a photo without giving it too much contrast?

Started Nov 11, 2012 | Questions thread
jbf Veteran Member • Posts: 3,560
Re: Please clearly define what 'pop' is...

Tazz93 wrote:

Considering what you see as "pop" the best way to create it with a lot of contrast would be using the proper exposure and lighting. Flat photos are almost alway lit incorrectly.

I agree.  The large majority of people who ask this question are looking for a trick to quickly make their photos look like something they saw on the web or in a magazine, and by far the best advice they could receive is to learn about lighting.  There are many tutorials about lighting on the web.  Check out youtube or a similar site for hundreds of videos on the subject.

When it comes to editing, some tips are much better than others, but without a well lit image to start with, most likely any editing that appears to improve your images today will be a distraction when you look back at your images in a year or two.  You'll see the processing that you liked at that time, and the subject of the photo will at best be the second thing you notice.  Having said that, digital photos are free so have fun experimenting.  Just be sure to keep the original files.

One more thing to consider is that all kinds of contrast can make a subject "pop", not just light vs. dark contrast, i.e. rough vs. smooth, big vs. small, young vs. old, warm vs. cold, busy vs. plain, etc.  Find creative ways to draw attention to your subjects.

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