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.
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.
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.