Juxtaposition. Big word. Big time drama.

I love opposites. Playing on the difference between two things and placing them in close proximity to each other will always add more drama to your photographs.

Life is just more interesting with a little bit of visual tension. A triangular shape versus a round shape. A flat color interrupted by a vivid splash. Light versus dark. Good versus evil. A real object versus a flat painting.

Big versus small. Crisp versus soft. Curve versus straight. The list goes on and on. Just take a gander at some iconic photographs… no… not mine… I said iconic….and more often than not… the juxtaposition of two somethings will be playing a starring role! Go ahead… I will wait.
OK… now onto several photographs I took yesterday. In each there is something playing off against something else. And that my friend is where the interest lies. Juxtaposition.


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Each has a little drama going on. In addition… each displays a little understanding of a very important previous “lesson” and that is… when you are composing your photographs… see shapes… not objects. Then pit them against each other! You can thank me later when someone says…”Did you shoot that?” And you can proudly say…” Yes, I shot that!”


Drama class.

Some photographs are nice. Some are purely informational. And some are interesting because Uncle John is in there… out of focus…cut off at the knees… with his eyes aglow from the flash. But his friends say…”I love that shot… he is so funny.” Which brings me to my point for the day.

If you want people to “talk about” your photography in the same terms they talk about another piece of fine art… the key is drama.

In other posts, I will be talking and illustrating other ways you can add drama into your photographs… but today… it is our old standby… leading lines. Strong directional “lines” that grab the eyes of the viewer and leads him/her into or around the photograph.

That is the power of “leading” lines.


Take a quick peek at the photo above. Yes I know… it is the most simplistic and most often used direction… smack dab up the middle.
But it is effective. And it is dramatic. Again, when composing a photograph… think shapes not things… and if you can grab the viewer’s eyes and drag them in… then voila… you have created not just a nice photo… but a piece of fine art.

I did it with rows of lavender and some fresh snow… and a few seconds of thinking of how to make it more than just nice.

Try it. It works.