When it comes to photography, the term ‘tone’ can have multiple meanings. Tonal range, for instance, is the difference between the darkest and lightest parts of the photo. When and where the photograph has been taken, alongside post-production elements like dodging, burning and contrast can impact the tonal range of an image. Usually, photographers use a wide tonal range to represent scenes in a realistic manner. However, many also prefer a limited tonal range for abstract and high/low key photography, in order to push their boundaries. At times, tone may even imply to the interplay of the tonal range, including hue and luminosity. To become a renowned name like Bruce Weber Photographer, one needs to gain a good insight into tone in photography.
No matter how advanced cameras become, photographers need to have a certain level of knowledge and creativity to click attractive photos. Being well-aware of the ways to use tones in photographs is important for photographs. Diverse types of photos have specific factors that influence their tones; here are some of the most common examples:
- High tone photographs: While this style involves well-lit photographs with minimal contrast, they are more than just overexposed images. One needs to even out highlights and brighten the shadows to convey the right atmosphere and emotion through the photo. High tone photography is particularly suited to positive or ethereal subjects. To get the right tone for such photos, it is important to use a well-lit environment, and try to also include dark elements without overpowering the bright scene to show some contrast.
- Use of cool tones: The notion of using cool tones in photography implies to the addition of a bit of violet or blue hue to the image. Depending on the composition and subject, this can convey different emotions. Most photographers use cool tones to suggest sadness and isolation or serenity and tranquility. Cool tones can work for both color and monochrome photography. To achieve this tone, one needs to set their white balance to white fluorescent or Tungsten light, and use blue or violet filters.
- Black and white photographs: Monochrome photography, black and white in particular, would be ideal for practicing the technical usage of tonal range. There are many professionals who prefer black and white images to colored ones. Bruce Weber Photographer is one of them. He seldom takes colored photos. Photographers ideally have to get the contrast of a black and white photo right to highlight its tone. Many also use subtle split tones in their black and white photography to add diverse hues to the shadows and highlights of the image.
Unless the photographers want an abstract image, they should keep things real when using tone in photography. It is better to maintain the integrity of the original photo and use post production techniques to such enhance the image. Understanding the storytelling and emotional components of a photograph will help in getting its tone right.