Composition Aids: Opposites Attract 1


 

Opposites can work to create balance in a composition.

Opposites can work to create balance in a composition.

 

In a way, this is a continuation of the main point from my non-guide to street photography: learn how to read a room. I thought that I would write a couple of articles on the things I look for and what I pay attention to in a scene. One of the first things that I tend to try and spot, and the subject of this first article, are opposites.

 

Opposites are attractive. It’s as simple as that. In an image, they can serve as tools to create visual interest or convey meaning. They can be obvious and the centerpiece of the image or just one small piece of the overall composition. When dealing with staged forms of photography, such as portraiture or commercial photography, opposites can be “implemented”. When shooting street or other unposed photography genres one must train oneself to find opposites in a scene.

Here are some examples of opposites I lookout for:

 

Opposites in position or direction help to create visual interest.

Opposites in position or direction help to create visual interest.

Oppotites in behavior help to isolate your subject from the crowd.

Opposites in behavior help to isolate your subject from the crowd.

Emotional Opposites

Opposites in emotional expression can serve to add a dynamic element to an image, but are hard to catch.


About Brian Webb

Brian Q. Webb is a photography enthusiast from Los Angeles, California who spends most of his time in Taipei, Taiwan. He is especially interested in street photography as well as large format portraiture and pinhole photography. He also likes to shoot lifestyle portraiture and occasionally acts as an agent for foreign newspapers wanting event coverage in Taipei. He was also on the staff of deviantArt and is co-founder of PhotoMalaysia, the largest photography community in that country.

  • http://tomwalshphoto.wordpress.com Tom

    Great article. I’ll keep an eye out for opposites…
    -t