Black color

Black color is a color of mystery and drama. It is associated with magic, evil and death. It makes an object look heavier. However, for artists and photographers, it is one of the most popular color.

Black items appear more expensive and exclusive. (black computer monitors and key boards are costly than their white counterparts) Black in photography is most indispensable part as it works extremely well as a negative space and creates a good contrast. Black gives opportunity to shoot the subject against light. In fashion and glamour photography, it works well for both, accessories and background.



Black in photography is created when light is not there. Any color will be recorded as a black in absence of light, including a white colored object. Actually, this black is just an illusion of black and not true black color. It is a part of dense shadow area, which shows contrast and depth.

Black in photography is used as background, when main subject or positive space is light in color. We can also shoot a black subject on black background, especially if we want to create a low key photograph. For creative and artistic approach, black has a great advantage as it creates lot of mystery and leave space for viewer to imagine any detail. The result is really useful when we do not want to reveal much about the subject. Example is in nude photography.

However, in product photography, we have to be careful. In most of cases, product detail is the main consideration, especially if the photograph is to be used for a product catalog or a brochure. In such case, black product on black background will give very rich look, provided we give a balanced kicker light, which will define the shape outline and enough reflected light to open up maximum product details.

Black is a term denoting absence of intensity of light. On CMYK color mode, it is direct black ink (K). However, this black ink used in printing is not rich black and by adding some percentage of cyan, magenta and yellow, we can get blackest of printable black. (Theoretically, cyan, magenta and yellow at maximum strength should produce black tone but in practical, it will produce dark murky brown.)

Read more about how other colors work in a photograph:

Blue color

Brown color

Complementary colors

Cool colors

Dark colors

Dull colors

Green color

Grey color

Impressive colors

Light colors

Purple color

Red color

Tranquil colors

Vivid colors

Warm colors

White color

Yellow color

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