The work process
Doing this assignment made me realize that what needs to be most obvious in showing contrast are the opposite characteristics by which it is recognized and other elements that puts the contrast in its proper perspective. Looking through my photographs I found contrasts that I hadn’t noticed before, especially after I became aware of how lots of different elements in an image can be contrasting.
Here are some of the ideas that I got from the opposites on the list:
large/small: Size of insects, the immense statue in Dakar
many/few: Guys exercising on the beach during sunset and an hour before
transparent/opaque: My son swimming in the pool, still thinking about opaque
broad/narrow: highway and little paths in the sand
diagonal/rounded: shade of steps and shade of something round
continuous/intermittent: Water dripping and water flowing
long/short: spaghetti and macaroni
pointed blunt: Pointed windows in mosque and blunt pencils
liquid/solid: ice and water
light/dark: Metro station by night and day
black/white: Albino and negro
thick/thin: huge baobab tree and a palm tree
The funny thing was that I started to take pictures of a lot of other contrasts thinking they were on the list as well!
I took more photos than I had planned because in the process I saw new things and got other ideas. The main challenge was to keep the perspective of the contrast right. For example in the large/small contrast it was important to have a person sitting next to the statue and having a toy soldier in the lift, otherwise it would not have been possible to see the scale of the subject. In the liquid/solid contrast I used my lego ice cubes to emphasize the ‘solid’ aspect and kept the liquid image in cool colours and sharpening the rounded shape of the water so that it would not be a hot/cold contrast.
Looking at the light/dark picture I realized that it may have been a few/many contrast as well. In the light picture, there are only a few lights, while in the dark picture all you see really clearly are the lights. But the light/dark contrast is the most obvious, so that’s why I called it that way.
Initially I wanted to use the rough picture for the diagonal shape, but when I looked at it, I realized that the texture is much more striking than the shape. The smooth picture is part of a chair made of the same material, but a much softer colour and smoother surface.
I learned that to emphasize the contrast it is important to have other elements that are in common. For example the straight/curved pictures both have colours that are changing while taking the picture. The straight picture was taken in the hotel where I stayed. The lights in the hall would change colour every other second, giving this special effect. The same happens with the gas burner on. So even though the subjects are not related at all, because of the contrast in shape and the common colours they do relate really well.
The same goes for the black/white. I really liked the black code on the container and wanted to photograph something with a white code. But since these don't exist, I looked for an object that had the green and red in common, but white as a contrast. I ended up with a bottle of bleach, which funny enough mentioned how it whitens everything.
While I was taking a picture of the sea coast to get a movement picture, I saw the man sleeping on the rocks. It makes a nice contrast of the unmoving rocks and man and the constantly changing sea. It was hard to get the lighting right, and I think I could still do a better job at it, but the contrast is one I would have never come up with and I was excited to be able to take the picture.