Choosing a stock image requires a bit of understanding of what makes an excellent image for your project. Let’s say you’re looking for an image to create a banner for your travel website. You would likely use some graphics or text to go with the stunning photo in the background. In this case, it would make sense to go for an image with a consistent contrast or at least a patch in the picture with consistent contrast so that your graphics and text have an even background. Remember, an even contrast in the original image means a contrasting result with the text and graphics.
How to pick an image with the right contrast
Let’s say you have a travel website and want to promote Holland as a destination. You choose this beautiful image of a Tulip plantation. The problem is with all the contrasting colors in the composition, putting text and graphics will have the opposite effect. Instead, if you choose an image with a blue sky with a steady contrast in the blue and a tulip orchard that forms the bottom half of the composition, you can use the sky part for your texts and graphics. Additionally, if you add white text against the blue sky, that would have eye-catching contrast.
Refer to the color wheel
The color wheel is a ready reference for what’s a contrasting color. You can use a color wheel to guide you on which colors to pick for a contrasting final result. Ideally, the colors that you choose should be opposite to each other on the color wheel. This offers the maximum amount of contrast.
Choose images that supplement your messages
The worst thing you can do is shortlist a visually stunning image that distracts from the message you’re trying to convey. If an image is highly contrasting, has lots of hues, and conveys a subject that’s not a true representation of the text or content with which it goes, then the image is unfit for your purpose.
Instead of trying to shortlist attention-seeking images, choose subtle ones that blend in with what you’re trying to convey. Let’s say it’s a travel website, and your image is a shot on the street with people and cops in it; it could take the reader’s focus away from the article and instead drive them to check out what’s in the photo.