Note on images for articles

Something to think about when making featured images for articles… Pictures have what we call a level of energy. You can think of energy as the frequency of abrupt changes in color or contrast. These photos have high energy:

Low energy pictures have more gradual changes in color or contrast. Often they might have more blurring of focus, for example, or a narrow color palette – but this isn’t a strict rule. These photos have lower energy:

(very low!)

Even brightly colored, high contrast text (like yellow text on an image that tends toward deeper blue) can be lost if the image is high energy. This makes it hard for the viewer to discern the text, and the title can often help draw the reader to the article.

When you’re putting together a featured image, try to lean toward lower energy photos behind your text. This keeps your text from being “lost” in the energy of the photo.

If your image is so awesome that you really want to use it despite high energy, consider adding several layers of subtle(!) glow or drop shadow around your text. This allows it to pop out from the image.


Thanks Paul. I think I get the gist of the idea. Hopefully with a little more practice I’ll get better at making the text stand out in a more readable way. :slightly_smiling_face: