Juxtaposition in Photography Explained With Examples

Wondering what’s Juxtaposition? Well, in simple words – it means ‘Contrast’; it is a composition technique wherein you either intentionally place objects/subjects of contrasting nature, close together or they can appear naturally in the scene. It can be composed by depicting contrast through size, colour, shape, weather, meaning and so on.

We’ve learnt Composition techniques like Rule of Thirds, Centred Composition, Leading Lines, Fill the Frame, Pattern & Texture, Rule of Odds, Colour Theory, Frame within a Frame, Simplicity & Minimalism, Rule of Space, Left to Right Rule, Isolate the Subject, Negative Space, Foreground Composition, Panning, Change your Point of View & Balance in our previous blogs. Now, let’s explore Juxtaposition in Photography!

Here’s How You Can Use Juxtaposition to Convey Contrasts in Your Pictures:

Juxtaposition Example of Weather: Cool vs. Warm (Balmy)

Juxtaposition photography

In the above pic, the contrast is caused due to the height difference in the cloud layer; the lower cloud layers catch the setting sun. So, sea reflects yellow and the cloudless space reflects the blue sky.

Juxtaposition Example of Size: Big vs. Small

Juxtaposition

The above pic was taken in the Desert at Kutch, Gujarat. You’ll see how the Nearer (Pouting) Camel appears Bigger than the Farther Camel; also they are Moving in the Opposite Direction.

Another Example of Size: Big vs. Small

Juxtaposition DSLR Photography

The above pic was taken at Rishikesh, Uttarakhand. Contrast in size is clearly visible: the Huge Statue of Lord Shiva and Small Statues of his Sacred Bull & Lingam.

Juxtaposition Example of Creation: Man Made vs. Natural

Juxtaposition Composition

In the above pic, the Aeroplane (Man Made) and Sun (Natural) depict Contrast of Creation.

Juxtaposition Example of an Era/Tradition: Modern Man vs. Ancient Practice

Juxtaposition photography example

Above is the pic: Graffiti of an Astronaut (Modern Man) practising Meditation (Ancient Practice) at the Beatles Ashram, Rishikesh.

Juxtaposition Example of Colour

Juxtaposition Photography Contrast

The above pic of the Mules Quenching their Thirst was taken at Ganges River, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand.

Juxtaposition Example of Colour & Type

Juxtaposition example

An Apple among Oranges.

Yet Another Juxtaposition Example of Colour

Juxtaposition in photography

The above pic depicts contrast in colour: The Classic – Black & White… I would rather say the Light of Hope in the (Dark) Times of Coronavirus.

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Juxtaposition in Photography Composition

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Enhancing Composition Using Balance in Photography

One of the ways to make your photos appealing, is using different subjects in the frame that bring a balance in your photo. This composition technique helps in achieving an equal visual weight – different parts of the picture command the viewer’s attention in equal measure.

We’ve explained Composition techniques like Rule of Thirds, Centred Composition, Leading Lines, Fill the Frame, Pattern & Texture, Rule of Odds, Colour Theory, Frame within a Frame, Simplicity & Minimalism, Rule of Space, Left to Right Rule, Isolate the Subject, Negative Space, Foreground Composition, Panning and Change your Point of View in our previous blogs. Now, let’s understand Balance in Photography!

Protips:

How to Create Perfectly Balanced & Visually Appealing Photographs

Frame two subjects of same/different sizes on opposite sides of the image

You can frame two or more subjects of same/ different sizes to compose a balanced image. Remember, that it is not essential that subjects framed in the pic to bring balance, have to be of the same size. What matters is that, they are placed on the opposite sides of the frame.

Below is the image of Goddess Ganga & Lord Shiva taken at River Ganga -Rishikesh, Uttarakhand

Balance in Photography 

Here, the huge statue of Goddess Ganga – on the left side of the image – complements the small statue of Lord Shiva – on the right side of the image. Without having the small statue of Lord Shiva in the frame, the right side of the picture would look empty & unappealing.

Go for Centred Composition over Rule of Thirds

Below is the Stone Pyramid shot at the Ganges River- Rishikesh, Uttarakhand

Balance Composition

The pic evokes a feeling of balance & tranquillity, isn’t it? Well, the image was composed placing the Stone Pyramid at the centre of the image; if the Stone Pyramid was framed either on the left side or right side of the image – it would have made that respective side of the image heavier, failing to create a sense of balance.

Use Foreground Composition

Take a look at the below image of Tera Manzil Temple (Trayambakeshwar Temple) near Lakshman Jhula at Rishikesh, Uttarakhand

Balance visual weight photography

You will notice that the Temple – on the right side of the image – is counterbalanced by the Rocks – on the left side of the image. If the photo was captured from a different angle without framing the rocks at the foreground or left side of the image, it would have created an empty space on the left side of the image.

Here’s another example where the Cascading Waterfall (Elephant Falls at Meghalaya) is balanced by the Moving Boat at the Foreground

Balance in DSLR Photography

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Balance Composition in Photography DSLR

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Change your Point of View to Improve Composition in your Photographs

Same location, same scenery, same subject – wonder, how some photos stand out from the rest? Well, the trick is – not to capture an image at the eye level, instead try out a new angle by changing your position.

We’ve explained Composition techniques like Rule of Thirds, Centred Composition, Leading Lines, Fill the Frame, Pattern & Texture, Rule of Odds, Colour Theory, Frame within a Frame, Simplicity & Minimalism, Rule of Space, Left to Right Rule, Isolate the Subject & Negative Space, Foreground Composition & Panning in our previous blogs. Now, let’s understand the next Composition technique – Change your Point of View.

Here’s How to Change your Point of View to Create those Amazing Camera Shots!

  • Position yourself at a greater height than your subject
  • Get down low to photograph your subject
  • Go for a Dutch Angle
  • Let there be someone/something between you and your subject

Position yourself at a greater height than your subject

You can try this – by clicking a picture of a river from a bridge, a monument from the terrace of a building/from your hotel room or a restaurant and so on.

This position will make your subject look smaller which wouldn’t have been possible at an eye level click.

Take a look at the below shots of the breathtaking river in Meghalaya taken from a high angle.

Change your point of view DSLR photography

Change your point of view photography composition

Get down low to photograph your subject

You can capture your subject by positioning yourself – facing towards the sky.

This position will make your subject look larger compared to a click taken at an eye level.

Check out the below example of Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Pondicherry taken from a low angle

Change your point of view photography in DLSR photography

Another example of a photo taken from Inside a Cave in Meghalaya

Change your point of view in photography

Go for a Dutch Angle

You can give a creative twist to your picture by using a Dutch Angle – tilting your camera.

This position will help you capture a more dynamic shot of your subject.

Here’s a morning pic of Dawki River with colourful boats at the shore, Meghalaya taken using a Dutch Angle

Change your point of view photography Dutch Angle

Let there be someone/something between you and your subject

You can include a subject along with your main subject while composing your image.

Take a look at the below pic for more clarity

Change your point of view

A different perspective – this photograph depicts a moment of a nature lover trying to capture the beautiful landscape of Meghalaya on his smartphone.

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Change your point of view Photography

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Panning: A Photography Technique to Capture Striking Images of Moving Subjects

Have you seen a picture where the background is blur but the moving subject/object appears sharp and in focus? Well, the photographer has used the ‘Panning’ technique to create such an eye-catching image!

Here’s everything you need to know about Panning.

What is Panning in Photography

Panning in Photography

For Panning, you have to move your DSLR Camera along with the moving subject that you are photographing.:

Some of the Examples of Moving Objects/Subjects for Panning:

  • A Moving Vehicle
  • A Skateboarder
  • A Runner/Jogger
  • A Motorcyclist

How to Use Panning when shooting with your DSLR Camera

Go for Shutter Priority Mode

Since Panning is all about Motion/Moving Subjects, Shutter Speed is of utmost importance here. So, set your DSLR on Shutter Priority Mode; the Camera will accordingly set the Aperture and ISO to achieve the Correct Exposure.

Move along with your Subject

Start moving with your subject & ensure that the speed at which you are moving your DSLR should match with the speed at which your subject is passing by your frame.

Panning in Photography

Wait for the right moment to capture the perfect shot – Click the photograph only when your subject is parallel to your camera.

This way, the subject will be in Focus whereas the Background will Blur.

Use Slow Shutter Speed

You’ll have to use Slow Shutter Speed so that the shutter remains open for a longer time. Since you’ll be following your subject in the viewfinder, it will keep the subject in the same part of the picture making the subject appear sharp; due to the camera movement – the background will blur.

The recommended Shutter Speed is between 1/30 sec and 1/125 sec depending on the speed of your subject.

Panning in Photography

Play with your camera settings till you get the desired shot. If everything in the photograph including the subject appears blur, then increase the shutter speed; and in images where the background is not blur – reduce the shutter speed.

Keep adequate Distance between You & your Subject

If you are very close to your subject, your Camera lens may not be able to Focus on the subject due to the distance being shorter than the minimum focusing distance.

Use Advanced Setting: Automatic Focus

AI Servo AF Canon

Switch on the AI Servo (for a Canon DSLR) & AF-C (for a Nikon DSLR). This tracking mode enables you to continuously focus on your subject as it moves across the frame.

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Click on the below Image to see the Comic wherein the Camera explains Jo, the concept of Panning with the help of practical examples.

Panning Photography

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How to Use Foreground Composition to Give a 3D Feel to your Photos

Ever wonder how some people manage to click aesthetically pleasing pictures? Well, the answer is quite simple – they use Composition rules/techniques to creatively arrange the various elements present in the scene which instantly draws the viewer’s attention.

We’ve explained Composition techniques like Rule of Thirds, Centred Composition, Leading Lines, Fill the Frame, Pattern & Texture, Rule of Odds, Colour Theory, Frame within a Frame, Simplicity & Minimalism, Rule of Space, Left to Right Rule, Isolate the Subject & Negative Space Composition in our previous blogs. Now, it’s time to move on to the next Composition technique – Foreground Interest & Depth.

What is Foreground in Photography

The Foreground consists of anything that lies between you and your subject.

Foreground in Photography

Look at the above image of the Waterfall

The Rocks in front of the waterfall form the Foreground in the scene.

When to use Foreground Composition in Photography

Foreground in Photography

You can ideally use Foreground Composition while capturing Landscapes, Waterscapes or Seascapes.

What can you use as a Foreground in Photography

  • Rocks in front of a Stream
  • Small Flowers/Plants/Grass in the Mountain area
  • Fossils/Pebbles/Shells on an Island/Beach
  • Fallen Leaves in the Woods

Foreground in Photography

In the above pic, a Moving Boat in front of the Waterfall was used as a Foreground.

Reasons why you should use Foreground Composition in Photography

  • To give a 3D Feel to your Images/ To create a Layered Image
  • To add a sense of depth to your scene
  • It gives the viewer the feeling of being physically present at the photographed place
  • So that the colour, texture, pattern & shape of the foreground object enhances the photo’s visual impact

Take a look at the below image of the Rainbow Falls in Cherrapunji, Meghalaya where the Rocks served as the Foreground Interest

Foreground in Photography

And a picture with a Riverside Setting in Meghalaya where the Rocks & the Stationed Boats form the Foreground

Foreground in Photography

Now, take a look at the below images of these places – the Image on the Left is without any Foreground & the Image on the Right with a Foreground

Foreground in Photography

Foreground in Photography

  • In both the above images, you clearly notice that the Images on the Left (without any Foreground) are FLAT Images whereas the Images on the Right (with a Foreground) are more appealing due to the 3D Feel & sense of depth.

Protips:

  • Look for Natural Objects in the Surroundings that can serve as the Foreground Interest
  • Use Wide Angle Lens to capture all the elements in the scene
  • Try lowering your camera angle or adjust the angle in such a way that you are able to include the Foreground Object, inside the frame.

We bring you ‘Jo & His Camera’ Comic Strips wherein a Magical Camera gives DSLR photography tutorials to Jo.

Click on the below Image to see the Comic wherein the Camera explains Jo, the concept of Foreground Interest & Depth with the help of practical examples.

Foreground in Photography

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