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Photographic composition is a topic that usually begins with discussions about the rule of thirds and golden section and ends with people's eyes glazing over. But when you start digging deeper, there are a lot of useful things to get to know that will help you get more powerful images.
These three techniques with accompanying exercises are a great way to go beyond those basic rules very quickly. Enjoy.
Juxtaposition is basically when two things are next to each other and have a contrasting effect. That might be visual contrast or even topic contrast or emotional contrast.
In photography, good images that display strong juxtapositions are highly regarded. They require either a good eye for visual contrast or patience and luck spotting visual examples of for emotional contrast.
Exercise: Think of some possible themes for composing juxtaposed images. Some brainstorming material to get you started might be old and new, black and white, war and peace, traditional and modern, natural and artificial. The key here is to jolt the viewer with the stark difference between two things.
Now go shoot it!
Examples of photos composed with juxtaposition in mind:
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