Juxtaposition: Exercises to Develop Your Photographic Sense of Irony

Juxtaposition is a term that applies to many different mediums, including photography.

It is often alternately described as “contrast”. I tend to think of it more as contrast with a sprinkle of irony.

Here is a formal description: juxtaposition is when a photographer puts two objects close to each other, intending to attract a viewer’s attention toward their differences. When the (hopefully ironic) contrast between the two objects is the first thing that attracts a viewer’s eye, juxtaposition is achieved.

Challenge #1: Spend a day shooting juxtaposition images that rely on the big-versus-small comparison. Try to make some of your pictures blatant and obvious, while making others more thought-provoking.

The small box in the cat photo above didn’t stop my cat’s need to sit in it—that’s ironic. This example is known as situational irony, and the theme plays well with the photography medium.

Photographing the large cat and the tiny box together interacting together—that is a juxtaposition.

Key Point: Juxtaposition often contains some level of irony. It is the irony that creates a storytelling element for the photo.

When two elements within your juxtaposed photo are physical objects, they must each have enough visual strength so that a viewer can make the connection between the two and examine the contrast. The image above is a juxtaposition of color, shape and texture.

Suppose a juxtaposition is meant to create a concept, mood or statement. In that case, this is more difficult, as a viewer must identify the juxtaposition and also process where the contrast occurs.

The juxtaposition does not have to be complicated. The technique lends itself well to minimalism. The opposition captured in a juxtaposition can be as simple as land and water.

Critical Thought: The photograph of water and land (above) creates a juxtaposition of nature. There is no irony in this photo, and that’s fine. Irony adds another level to juxtaposition. Without irony, it can be a bit more difficult for a broad audience of viewers to connect the dots in your juxtaposed photographic composition. However, that’s not bad, as it forces viewers to think about what they’re viewing.

Challenge #2: Spend a day out in nature. Concentrate on the juxtaposed objects that nature creates. (Believe me, there many more than you probably realize!) Specifically, look for color contrast, shape and texture to make your images. Try using minimalism to even further challenge yourself.

The juxtaposition above occurred at my local gym. I noticed the subject relaxing and looking at her smartphone. There was gym equipment lying unused all around her. That situation created an ironic contrast in my mind.

Remember! Irony and humor are often used with juxtaposition in photography. The difficulty is that not all individuals will see irony and humor in the same way, just as we all don’t find the same things funny. Develop your satirical style and run with it.

Another fantastic theme to explore when learning about taking juxtaposed photos is “old vs. new”.

Above are four examples of old versus new using architecture as the juxtaposed subject matter.

Challenge #3: Start exploring the old-versus-new juxtaposition using architecture as your subject. Look for interesting angles and lighting that help show the contrast and also help tell a story.

This juxtaposed street shot relies on clothing and props to create the contrast: a man of God and a man of war positioned together, within the same frame, creates a strong juxtaposition.

Juxtaposition is a vital tool for street photography and photojournalism. It can be used to make strong social and political statements. When trying to photograph in this genre, look for two sides of a story within a single composition.

Challenge #4: Not everyone is comfortable with street photography. If you are willing to give it a try, look for ironic contrast among people. The differences can be literally anything that catches your eye. The wider the distinction, the more extensive your audience will become, as more people will comprehend your story. If street photos aren’t your thing—give it a try with children playing or at a family gathering.

Equipment: Here is the ultimate beauty of juxtaposition. You need no special equipment. You can pursue this technique with nothing more than a smartphone. All that is required is a keen eye and a nice dose of irony.

Juxtaposition Examples

Let me close by giving you some hints for juxtaposed photos, and then follow that up with a final challenge and a few case studies. Here are some examples of juxtaposition:

  • Male vs. Female
  • Many vs. Few
  • Wealthy vs. Poor
  • Healthy vs. Unhealthy
  • Light vs. Dark
  • Old vs. Young
  • Active vs. Inactive
  • Valuable vs. Trash
  • Power vs. Weakness
  • Stereotype vs. Broken Stereotype (a personal favorite)
  • Signage vs. Opposing Background
  • Modern Attire vs. Older Styles
  • Near vs. Far
  • Selfie with Opposing Background (I also like this as an exercise as it is introspective)
  • Happy vs. Sad
  • Shapes: Circles vs. Triangles or Squares vs. Lines (or any other variation)

Your Ultimate Challenge: Create as many of these suggested juxtapositions as you can. For at least some of them, compose the shot using a mirror for a more challenging assignment!

Case Studies

Technically, one could classify the above image as a juxtaposition. However, it falls short of an essential element for juxtaposed photos—it lacks a story element.

When thinking about your juxtaposed photos, make sure to look past the obvious for more cerebral contrasts. Look for stories!

The portrait of the model with the mirror does represent a contrast, as the image captured two sightlines. But the difference is weak, as it bears no significant story element or insight about the subject.

This photo is a perfect example of a juxtaposition between a human-made object and nature.

Composition is the key to successful photography. Juxtaposition is a composition tool that doubles as a storytelling tool.

The image above uses juxtaposition. It also uses symmetry and color contrast to hammer home viewer interest.

There are several exciting juxtapositions within this shot. How many can you count?

Here are the juxtapositions:

  • Near versus far (that’s an obvious one)
  • Dangerous activity (sliding) versus safe activity (watching)
  • Masked versus unmasked (current health concerns)
  • Coming versus going
  • Up versus down

I think this is a very successful juxtaposition. The technique adds a sense of mystery and a story element to the rather mundane activity of herding sheep.

This last example is juxtaposition at its finest, and it used a mirror just for fun!

How did you do with the challenges?

  1. Did you give all the challenges a try?
  2. Were you able to successfully incorporate a mirror?
  3. Did you share your photos with others, and were they able to discern your juxtaposed meaning?
  4. Now that you’ve practiced, how can you improve your next attempt?

Contrast is King in Photography

Contrast is king

If Contrast was, in fact, the king of visual communication, then possibly he is only trumped by the beautiful Queen of Symmetry. We will take a look at symmetry at a later date.

If symmetry is the one element above all else that the human eye finds most attractive, then contrast would be the single element that the human eye finds the most interesting.

Contrast (Google definition)


noun: contrast; plural noun: contrasts


1. The state of being strikingly different from something else in juxtaposition or close association.

Even the dictionary definition hints at the interesting quality of Contrast.

When we think about contrast within photography, we generally think about tonal contrast. Tonal contrast is what we photographers are referring to when we’re talking about adding or reducing the contrast within an image.

However, contrast by no means stops there. In fact, tonal contrast only just scratches the surface of the types of contrasts we can use to make our photography much more interesting.

This is not something I have pulled from thin air; the power of difference, variance or “contrast” has been around for as long as art itself.

How often have you seen a photo of the odd one out?

Google “Odd one out.” click on the image tab, and you will see the types of photos I am referring to. The interest that these images create is contrast at play.

Let’s break these forms of contrast into subgroups:

Compositional or in camera – types of contrast we can capture in camera.

Post-processing – types of contrast we can apply within post-processing.

Conceptual – Conflicting stories we can imply within our photography.

Compositional Contrast (contrasting elements)

Rough vs smooth

Sharp vs blurry

Still vs movement

Big vs small

Shiny vs dull

Old vs new

Square vs circle

Straight vs curve

Symmetry vs Asymmetry

Processing Contrast (contrasting effects)

Tonal contrast – high contrast vs low contrast

Light contrast – Dark vs light

Saturation contrast – High saturation vs low saturation

Colour contrast – Complementary, cold vs warm, others

Detail contrast – sharper vs softer

Conceptual Contrast (contrasting stories)

Happy vs sad

Many vs none

Have vs have not

There would be many, many more. I’m sure you have thought of a couple already; however, the point is, whatever we call it – contrast, variation, difference – is the foundation for interesting photography. In fact, there could be a case made that contrast is the foundation for almost everything interesting, full stop!

Compositional Contrast

Looking for contrast within your compositions can be an excellent way to improve the interest level within your photos.

Above is a great example of compositional contrast. The first and probably the most obvious is the rough texture of the rocks vs the smooth texture of the sand and water.

– Very strong light contrast on the main triangular rock: light side v dark side.

– There is symmetry contrast with the strong symmetry of the triangular rock against the asymmetric position of that rock within the frame.

– Line contrast with the flat, straight horizon being broken by the rough outline of the rocks.

– Shape contrast: the strong triangle v the lack of any other shape.

– Shape contrast: the contrast of the triangle v the rectangular frame of the photo.

– The dark rock against the bright surroundings.

– The white soft line of the long-exposure water v the dark sharp line
of the horizon.

I would be lying if I told you that I consciously saw all of these elements when composing this photo. I can clearly remember that this position was the composition that jumped off the rear LCD much more than any other shot that I composed that day. This definitely has to do with the shape and symmetry of the pinnacle rock from this exact spot. The choice of shutter speed is also interesting because I will usually do several different speeds; however, more often, it’s the longer speeds with the smooth water that look the most interesting – the contrast of smooth vs rough.

Processing Contrast

When processing my images, the 3 main types of contrast I find particularly useful in leading the viewers are light, tonal contrast, and saturation.

Light (More or less light): As a type of contrast, light contrast would be the difference between a light area and an area of dark within an image. By adding light, we can attract attention to an area, or conversely by removing light or darkening an area, we will tend to divert attention from that area.

Tonal contrast (more or less contrast): Tonal contrast is the more commonly referred to contrast within photography. When photographers talk about contrast, we are talking about tonal contrast. Generally speaking, to add more tonal contrast is to create a larger distance between the light pixels and the dark pixels within a photo. Lighten the lights and darken the darks. To lower tonal contrast within a photo would be to create less distance between the lights and the darks. Darkening the lights and lightening the darks would reduce the overall tonal contrast of a photo.

Saturation (more or less colour saturation): Saturation as a contrast element would be the difference between highly saturated areas and the low saturated areas of a photo.

Attracting the attention of your viewer’s eye using these three forms of contrast is actually quite simple. By adding more of any of them to a specific area of our photograph (more light, more tonal contrast or more saturation) will have the effect of drawing attention to that specific area. Reducing the light, tonal contrast or saturation will have the opposite effect of allowing these areas to fade into the background, as these areas will appear less interesting to your viewers.

I must highlight the fact that removing contrast interest from the surroundings is at least as equally important as adding contrast interest to your main subject. In fact, in the case of saturation contrast, I will very rarely add extra saturation; however, I will almost always remove at least a little saturation from the areas surrounding my interest point (main subject).

Let’s take a look at another example where the above techniques are clearly visible.

Hopefully, once again your eye is drawn to the boatshed in this particular photo.

Again note:

The centre of the image here contains the brightest areas, the highest colour saturation and also the highest area of tonal contrast (the point at which light and dark are at the closest proximity to each other).

Whereas the edges of the image contain;

– Very little, if any bright areas

– Next to no colour saturation

– Very little tonal contrast (Apart from the walkway leading into the photo)

Using these 3 forms of contrast, we can create very powerful photos that grab the viewer’s eye and lead it directly into the central subject matter.

Conceptual contrast

Conceptual contrast deals with conflicting stories or themes within a single photo.

To name just a few:

  • Happy vs sad
  • Despair vs hope
  • Love vs broken heart

This is a relatively new concept to me and as I develop my conceptual contrast skills, I will revisit with more in-depth thoughts. In the meantime, let’s look at an image of mine where I have attempted to use conceptual contrast.

In this photo, the main conceptual contrast that I wanted to portray was quite a heavy, depressing scene with the ray of light representing hope.

There is also another possible storyline containing conceptual contrast, that being one of isolation v companionship. The three rocks themselves are quite isolated within the image, but within that, we also have the smaller rock of the three, separated from the embrace of the other two. Once again, I didn’t consciously see this at the time of making the photo. It all may seem a bit far-fetched, but at the end of the day, the more stories that we consciously place within our photos, the greater chance that our viewers will make their own interpretation and connect with our work.

When to Apply Sharpening in the Photo Editing Process

Photography, in its essence, is an art of capturing light. Once that light is captured, the journey isn’t quite over – the art of post-processing begins. Photo editing allows us to accentuate the best parts of our images, fix imperfections, and achieve a final look that’s both appealing and striking. One such technique, often left for the end, is sharpening. Let’s dive into why it’s best to apply sharpening at the end of the photo editing process.

1. Understanding Sharpening

Sharpening is a post-production technique that increases the contrast along the edges within an image. This accentuates details, making the image look clearer and more refined. However, like any tool, if used excessively or inappropriately, it can lead to undesirable artifacts like halos or increased noise.

2. Maintaining Image Quality

During the editing process, numerous adjustments – be it exposure, contrast, color correction, or retouching – are made to the image. Every adjustment, especially when done in raster format (like JPEG), can potentially degrade the image quality slightly. If you sharpen early and make subsequent edits, you risk exacerbating the unwanted artifacts introduced by sharpening. By sharpening at the end, you ensure that you’re applying this effect to the final version of the image, preserving maximum detail.

3. Tailored to Output

The required amount of sharpening can vary depending on where the image will be displayed. For instance, a photo meant for Instagram might need different sharpening than one intended for a large print. By leaving sharpening to the end, you can adjust according to the specific output in mind, ensuring optimal clarity.

4. Flexibility with Layers

For those using advanced photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop, sharpening at the end allows for the use of layers. This means you can adjust the sharpening intensity on a separate layer without affecting the underlying edits. This non-destructive approach offers great flexibility, as you can easily tweak or revert the sharpening without redoing the entire editing process.

5. Avoiding Cumulative Noise

Noise is the grainy or speckled appearance often seen in photos, especially those taken in low light. Editing can amplify noise, and sharpening can make it even more pronounced. If sharpening is applied early in the process, subsequent edits can amplify this noise even further. By sharpening at the end, you can better control and minimize the enhancement of noise.

6. Better Visual Judgment

After all the edits and enhancements, the image’s overall look and feel will be different from the starting point. What might have seemed like an appropriate amount of sharpening at the beginning could be overkill by the end. By waiting, you allow yourself to judge the appropriate sharpness based on the final product.

In Conclusion

While sharpening is undeniably a powerful tool in the photographer’s post-production arsenal, its timing in the editing process is crucial. By saving sharpening for the end, photographers can ensure they’re delivering the highest quality image, tailored to its intended output, with minimized artifacts and noise. Remember, photo editing is as much about the sequence of steps as it is about the steps themselves. Happy editing!

Previsualization: Transforming Your Thoughts into Photos

Oh, they’re just a snapshooter!

That’s kind of the biggest slap in the face that you can give a photographer.

None of us want to believe that we’re snapshooters.

Truthfully, almost none of us are, because we all make decisions as we’re taking a picture—whether we realize it or not.

The picture above may appear to be a simple snapshot—a quick and meaningless moment captured.

However, it was quite the opposite. I conceived the photo and mentally prepared before the camera was even turned on.

There is a photographic term that encompasses this mental process of strategizing and executing an image: pre-visualization.

For a moment, imagine the term “pre-visualization” basically means “translation.”

With pre-visualization, you translate a three-dimensional scene, which you can see in real-life, onto a two-dimensional medium—a photograph. As you can imagine, a significant component of pre-visualization is composition.

The photo above is a perfect example. It was taken in Las Vegas from a 12th-floor hotel room. It depicts a cityscape that is partially obscured by a window shade.

What you see here is what I saw in my mind before clicking the shutter. I didn’t see a window shade or a cityscape; what I saw in my mind was a semi-abstract painting depicted in a photograph.

Key Thought: When attempting pre-visualization, imagine your scene printed huge, framed and hanging on a large blank wall. What do you see?

Pre-visualization began in Hollywood with moviemaking and the art of storyboarding.

Photographer Ansel Adams is credited with bringing the idea to still photography.

Pre-visualization is the art of seeing the finished photograph in your mind before you ever pick up a camera.

It may sound easy, but it requires developed skills in art knowledge, equipment, composition, lighting, exposure and post-processing.

The first step toward pre-visualization is training your eye to see the world in terms of spatial relationships, rather than literal objects.

A spatial relationship, in art, is the ability to perceive the involvement of an object’s position within a given space.

In this example photo above, I saw the pre-visualized the shape of a man in a dark suit surrounded by the space of white buildings.

Idea: When I began taking photography seriously, a mentor of mine taught me this simple trick to help me develop my ability to see spatial relationships. Just cup your fingers and thumb to form a cylinder, then close one eye and hold the cylinder in front of the open eye

Viewing a scene that you wish to photograph through this “lens” removes your peripheral vision and gives you something closer to a two-dimensional perspective. In fact, if you watch documentaries on filmmaking, you will often see the filmmaker using this same technique.

It forces you to see your scene in terms of spatial relationships!

Critical Thought: Practicing spatial-relationship recognition is the first step in developing professional pre-visualization skills.

A spatial relationship is intrinsically tied to light, shadow, color, and shape.

Another fantastic training tool for developing pre-visualization, similar to the technique above, is to view your scene through squinted eyes and using your fingers to “crop” the scene in front of you.

This activity eliminates details and divides the scene into spatial blocks of light, shadow, color and shape.

Idea: As you begin learning pre-visualization and using your eyes and hands as training tools, it’s best to stick with static subjects like landscapes. Once you’ve improved your pre-visualization to the point of no longer needing these techniques, you’re ready to take on moving scenes.

Key Thought: Moving scenes add an additional level of skill to pre-visualization. This extra skill is called anticipation.

This example photo is a perfect scene to begin pre-visualization practice:

Look at this picture using the techniques described above. You will see how it breaks down into a spatial relationship of shape, color, line and tone.

Critical Thought: Understanding your equipment is key to pre-visualization. If you don’t know how your equipment will affect the photograph, how can you pre-visualize it?

In my pre-visualization of the autumn tree photograph above, I saw an almost abstract image with blocks of color and a little to no perception of depth.

Knowing this, I selected a telephoto lens to compress the scene. That equipment further enhanced my preconceived idea for this photograph.

Critical Thought: Pre-visualization begins in the mind, advances to the camera and ends in post-production.

To take the photograph above, I physically saw an orange lawn chair that was sitting in a driveway in the late afternoon light. It was casting a shadow onto the concrete.

In my mind, I pre-visualized the scene as an abstract watercolor painting.

I physically created the picture by framing it as I saw in my mind’s eye, focusing on the shadow more than the chair.

I asked a friend to stand by the chair to cast a shadow in the upper left third of the frame. I felt this would further add a sense of mystery.

However—this is the crucial point in this illustration—this pre-visualized photograph came together in post-production.

Most of what you see in the final photo is nothing close to what was captured in the original digital file. Still, it perfectly completes what I preconceived as a painting on the wall!

In the moments before this photograph was taken, I thought, “Oh my god! She better watch out for those waves!” This thought was the formulation of my pre-visualized picture. But more was needed!

Other core skills for pre-visualization are patience, anticipation and timing.

In the example photo, part of my pre-visualization was to capture the danger and drama of the heavy waves crashing onto the beach.

Without the woman, the pre-visualized shot fails.

This picture was born of a pre-visualized concept. However, it also required patience for the idea to materialize naturally. I needed someone or something to enter the frame and provide a sense of drama and potential danger.

It also required anticipation (having my equipment ready) once the shot began to materialize.

Many people were walking in this area. Several of them got close to where this woman was but then backed away.

When I noticed her, I could see she was going to make a point of venturing out further than anyone else.

I anticipated her action and had my equipment ready.

Finally, I timed the shot for the best spatial relationship. As you can imagine, there was a lot of movement here. The woman did not linger out there on those rocks. I had to anticipate and react when both she and the waves were at their peak spatial relationship.

Key Concept: Think of pre-visualization in this order:

  1. Idea
  2. Spatial relationships
  3. Compose the frame in your mind
  4. Imagine the image large and hanging on the wall
  5. Introduce a story element
  6. Have your equipment ready
  7. Be patient for the story to develop
  8. Anticipate the moment
  9. Capture the shot at peak action
  10. Use post-processing to bring your award-winning photograph to life!

Why Don’t You Give It a Try?

  1. Organize a photoshoot where you will spend the better part of a day out taking pictures.
  2. Do not take a picture before spending at least five minutes thinking about the picture and anticipating what it would look like hanging on your wall. Set a timer.
  3. Post-process to your pre-visualized thoughts.
  4. Print a selection of your best efforts. Tape them to a blank wall in your home. Leave them there for a week.
  5. Each day, position yourself five feet in front of each photo and look at it for at least a minute, if not longer.

What Do You Think?

  • Do your finished photographs reflect your initial pre-visualized intent?
  • Were you able to follow through on your pre-visualization from beginning to end?
  • Do you now have a basic understanding of how pre-visualization can advance your photography?

8 of the Most Important Photoshop Tools for Photographers

Photoshop is one of the most well known and most commonly used image editing software programs in the world. It’s used worldwide both personally and professionally. When people see a picture they believe too good to be true, the reply is often the same: “That’s Photoshopped.” What many people don’t realize is that many of the images you think are just perfect shots are touched up using Photoshop, whether that be adding a little brightness or totally removing an undesirable person or section. When Photoshop is used correctly and not over done, it can make amazing imagery even better!

While every tool in Photoshop has its use, and, when you know what you’re doing should definitely not be overlooked! One thing you need to remember is that Photoshop isn’t there to “fix” a photograph, a bad photograph is always going to be a bad photograph. Of course the tools you find useful are going to differ to those someone else finds useful, so it’s all a matter of opinion, but if you have a great photograph and it just needs that little touch up, then here are our eight of the most important Photoshop tools for photographers:

1. Hue and Saturation

The Hue and Saturation tool enables you to control the colors in your images based on, well, their hue and saturation. To open the Hue/Saturation tool you can go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation.

Hue refers to the color in your image. Changing this will change the colors in your photograph and so this setting is usually best left untouched.

The tool you’re more likely to use here is saturation; this is the intensity and richness of the colors in the image. When saturating an image you can use the Master box found at the top of the Hue/Saturation toolbox to choose which colors you’d like to saturate. The colors you’re going to want to saturate most are the reds and yellows in your image rather than the blues. Adjusting the saturation allows you to make it look more natural and dramatic while not changing the colors or image too drastically.

2. Cropping

This is one of the more simple tools you’ll find yourself using, but that doesn’t make it any less valuable. Cropping is a valuable tool for photographers as it allows them to prep an image for posting online or printing: taking an image and changing its size and/or removing unnecessary empty areas. You can save presets for various sizes and resolutions, enabling you to crop images specifically for various reasons.

3. Layers

Layers are another simple tool that any Photoshop user knows how to use. But while simple, this tool is actually one of the most useful. Layers allow you to work on parts of an image without changing others. There really isn’t much more to say about layers than that, they allow you to layer various edits and section each, remaining its own separate section and having no impact on any other.

4. Levels

The levels tool allows you to correct the tonal range and color balance of an image by adjusting the intensity levels of images shadows, highlights and midtones. When editing the levels of an image you are shown a histogram, which is essentially just a visual guide for adjusting the image tones. You can find the levels tool by going to Image > Adjustments > Levels.

The histogram represents the dark and light tones within the image. If your histogram is mainly pushed to the left hand side it represents darker tones in your image, whereas the right hand side shows brighter tones. This is a tool you’ll likely find hard to use, but with slow adjustments you’ll notice how it can influence your images.

5. Sharpening

Sharpening is a hard tool to use; it requires a lot of practice and a very steady hand with a mouse. Sharpening an image is basically touching up all the lines and increasing their contrast, this will cause smaller features of an image stand out more. Sharpening your image is usually one of the last edits you’ll find yourself doing. The sharpen tool also has an “Auto Sharpen” command which may save you the time. When sharpening an image you should remember there is a fine line between sharpened and over-sharpened; over-sharpening an image will cause it to look unrealistic.

6. Healing Brush

The healing brush is used to replace scratches and small specs you might have noticed in your image. It works like a paintbrush tool but allows you to take a “perfect” part of your image (let’s say you focus on the blue of the sky) and copy that part of your image over the top of the spec or scratch you’ve found within your image. This tool will attempt to blend the section you’re copying with the area you’re covering; this means nothing looks out of place.

7. Exposure

Exposure adjustment corrects the tonal values or lightness of HDR (High Dynamic Range) images. You can find the exposure tool in Images > Adjustments > Exposure. This allows you to edit three settings: Exposure (this adjusts the highlights of your image while ignoring the darker areas of your image), Offset (this darkens the shadows and midtones of your image while ignoring the lighter areas), and Gamma (this adjusts the image’s gamma or midtone values).

8. Vibrance

The vibrance tool saturates the colors in your image, focusing mainly on increasing the intensity of colors in your image. Vibrance works much like saturation except it avoids skin tones (mainly oranges and yellows), so it’s perfect for images that contain people; it saturates their skin tone without making it seem unrealistic but adds to every other color in your image. A simple rule to follow is to use saturation when removing color from an image as it removes color from all colors, and vibrance when adding color. Vibrance essentially acts as a smart saturation, as it will only add color to the dull colors already in the image and not every color while avoiding skin tones.