Last week, we examined contrast in its traditional sense in photography: light versus dark. Contrast of opposite elements can be interpreted much more broadly, however. This week, we explore a more creative and potentially playful take on “conceptual contrast”. In composing our photos, we might experiment with contrasts between big and small, old and new… really, the possibilities are limitless with a group as creative as the Who We Become circle!
My take on conceptual contrast: 8 and 87
In the last two weeks of Who We Become, we looked for patterns: repeated similar elements in our compositions. For the rest of March, we shift our focus to contrast. A broad definition of contrast in art is the juxtaposition of opposite elements. Contrast between adjacent elements intensifies the properties of each and adds dynamism or drama to a work of art. The most well-known application of contrast in photography is the degree of difference between dark and light elements. This week, our photographs employ contrast in this traditional sense as the foundation of our compositions.
In this photo of my husband and daughter birdwatching at Huber Woods Environmental Center, the contrast between the bright outdoors and dim indoor space throws my subjects into partial silhouette.
Click here to see the Who We Become group mosaic.
Last week, we sought patterns to bring a sense of rhythm and harmony to our photos.However, patterns on their own can feel somewhat lacking – patterns can set a scene, but do not really create a point of interest to hold the viewer’s gaze.Breaking the pattern in an unexpected way can add the tension and vitality that transforms a scene from interesting to captivating. Our attention is riveted to object or person that disturbs the pattern, and the properties of the pattern itself are accentuated by the interruption.
Unfortunately, in shooting for this week’s assignment I found that finding broken patterns was challenging in itself. Creating an interesting and high-quality photo using them was an even taller order that I did not quite meet. This is the picture I decided to contribute to this week’s Who We Become collection.
The rest are some of my other attempts.
This week in Project 52/Framed we begin a month-long study of patterns and contrasts. Patterns are defined loosely here as similar elements that are repeated numerous times. Patterns are all around us, but we may not notice them at a casual glance. Our goal this week is to train our eyes to spot patterns in the environment that can create visually interesting, harmonious backgrounds for our subjects. Here I capture my not very willing model, sporting her new haircut and glasses, in front of a peanut-stone wall at the Atlantic Highlands Marina.
See the group mosaic at whowebecome.com.
Last weekend, we had our first mild weather in recent memory. You know it’s been a long winter when mid-40s is a treat. My older daughter and I took a late afternoon walk from Manhattan over the Queensboro Bridge (a.k.a. 59th Street Bridge). We live quite close to the bridge, but for whatever reason I’ve never taken my kids up over the footpath. It was such a nice day that we decided to walk all the way into Queens, up to Roosevelt Island, and back to Manhattan on the tram. We had some beautiful late afternoon light along the way.
For the PUSH creative challenge, here’s my take on words and numbers. Evidently, the owners of this garage thought both were necessary to make sure their message was clear.
Please continue on to Catherine’s blog to complete the circle. Or you can go back to Michele’s blog.
Or, linger for a moment to see a few more photos from our walk across the bridge and through a somewhat down-at-the-heels part of Queens.
The pedestrian and bike path along the bridge:
The Roosevelt Island tram viewed from the bridge. We would ride it home after our walk.
The Roosevelt Island Bridge viewed from the Queensboro Bridge (with the Triboro Bridge beyond).
The N train emerging from its tunnel under the river:
Almost to Queens!
On the Roosevelt Island Bridge after a very long walk: