Juxtaposition: Love it, Hate it

Juxtaposition is, by definition, the act or instance of placing two or more things side by side. In photography, it is using the objects in such a way that they contrast or complement each other to make an otherwise boring photo more appealing, amusing, or complete. This effect can be achieved by simply arranging the objects yourself, or waiting for that elusive “decisive moment” that Henri Cartier-Bresson was so passionate about that he dedicated his book to the term.

The beauty of the swan contrasts nicely with the murky pond and  rugged urban surroundings.

The beauty of the swan contrasts nicely with the murky pond and rugged urban surroundings.

One thing I like about juxtaposition is that the contrasting elements can be anything; light and dark, young and old, genders, colors, motion, you name it. So many things can add to a photo so long as you know which angle to look from.

Gender, race, and symbolism all work towards complementing this photo of ballerina and boxer.

Gender, race, and symbolism all work towards complementing this photo of ballerina and boxer.

Old vs new is the main theme here, but the color and texture of the old faded bricks also clash with the shiny glass plates ascending the larger building

Old vs new is the main theme here, but the color and texture of the old faded bricks also clash with the shiny glass plates ascending the larger building

A more simple example, the silhouette of the player, ball, and building add to the rich colors of the sunset.

A more simple example, the silhouette of the player, ball, and building add to the rich colors of the sunset.

Here you see the older man's hand against the child's, with both texture and color contrasting. The over-sized sleeve also pairs well with the child's thin arm

Here you see the older man’s hand against the child’s, with both texture and color contrasting. The over-sized sleeve also pairs well with the child’s thin arm

I also like how juxtaposition is something that is easy to do, but hard to master. As Alain Briot said, “Human beings think and see in terms of opposites.”

It’s easy to wait in front of a bank all day for a homeless man to walk by. It takes creativity to capture the moments in life that really stand out, and have depth that will keep people looking.

http://expertphotography.com/advanced-composition-techniques-juxtaposition/

http://blog.photoshelter.com/2012/05/using-juxtaposition-to-enhance-your-photography/

http://www.pbase.com/pnd1/juxtaposition

jhare

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