A few weeks ago I did some reading on using juxtaposition in photography. Sounds random, I know, but recent conversation perked my interest.
Travel and photography are hobbies I enjoy, and with it I also enjoy learning tricks of the trade. I am not a professional and generally use a look and shoot mentality. I enjoy editing photos in an effort to capture what I was looking for at the moment and I tend to practice Rule of Thirds. I love balance and more important enjoy capturing the expression of a moment, when possible.
There are numerous compositional tools in photography and juxtaposition is one way to enhance a photo, create interest, and to a make a statement, if you will, with your photos.
What is Juxtaposition?
It is a contrast between two items placed side by side. When together, the emphasis of what you are trying to capture in the photo is enhanced. The comparison/contrast captures uniqueness and brings personality to the moment in time.
Let’s take a closer look:
Juxtaposing Color – The collared lizard of the Petrified National Forest is a brilliant contrast to the red rocky landscape.
Nature vs. Art – A look at Dale Chihuly’s exhibit in Arizona shows the harmonious differences in the relationship between nature and art, light and dark, and day vs night.
Past and present – The 16th century painting of The Wedding at Cana in the Musee du Louvre from centuries before, contrasts with today’s tourists. It appears the people stepped out of the painting into the present.
Young and Old – In addition to the man and the little boy at swinging at different stages of life, the experience and expression is also a contrast. The facial expression of the little boy shows concentration, while the man is teaching and clearly having fun doing it.
Near and Far – With this photo it is hard to decide if it is the landscape I am capturing or the people in the foreground. The contrast brings it to life. The different facial expressions also tell yet another experience. Welcome to the Grand Canyon.
Juxtaposing Size – The feet of the newborn is in stark contrast to the size of the mother’s hands. And while there is no expression, the photo still defines a moment of tenderness.
Inspired by the lens of my camera that gifts me an exact moment in time.
Wind Kisses, Donna
I would love to hear of your tricks of the trade….
A few more examples of juxtaposition: