Juxtaposition

For this exercise, the intent is to produce a single image to demonstrate a juxtaposition.

Very early on in my journey through this course, I had noticed this exercise and it had stuck in my mind. However, at that point, I hadn’t really looked at what a juxtaposition was and I believed it was showing two different subjects in a single image that represented opposites or contradictions:

Juxtaposition-1

With this definition in mind, I took the image above.

However, at the time of taking this image I don’t think I had fully grasped the concept.

Looking at the dictionary definition of the term, the word is defined as:

  • an act or instance of placing close together or side by side, esp. for comparison or contrast.
  • the state of being close together.

This suggests a much looser definition than my first thoughts. Further to this, when introducing juxtaposition in his book “The Photographers Eye”, Michael Freeman states:

At the very least, juxtaposition brings two things to our attention at the same time, and as soon as the viewer starts to wonder why the photographer chose that viewpoint, and if the juxtaposition was intentional, this sets off a train of thought.

So, with the above image, I do believe it is an example of a juxtaposition. The relationship between the foreground and the background was intended to show this chinese garden deep inside the metropolitan city of Sydney.

Having further investigated what juxtaposition is meant to be and how it can be used, I took this image:

Juxtaposition-1-2

A similar technique has been used where the additional background object is trying to support the scene. In the foreground, the windmill is clearly the subject but without the church, we would have no context for where this windmill might be. By including the church spire in the composition, I hoped that the “train of thought” that would be invoked is that this windmill is intact set within a town or village.