Zebra with others behind
Lens-Artists,  Themed galleries

Gallery: do opposites really attract?

How do you photograph opposites? You can combine them in a single photo, as in the black and white zebras above. Or you can pair photos to show two extremes.

For this week’s Lens Artist Challenge, hosted by Tina, I’ve decided to do the latter. Searching through my archives I found plenty of examples. Do opposites attract? I certainly feel these pairs of images sit rather well together, so perhaps they do.

I also found some interesting quotations on the subject, so I’ll include a few of them too, some better known than others.

Apologies if you’ve seen some of these photos before; they fitted too well not to use them!

Night and day

Coloured lights reflected in a river

The night market by the river in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Covered bridge over a river

Day time view of the river in Siem Reap, Cambodia


Sunrise and sunset

Sun rising over a large expanse of water with dramatic clouds

Sunrise over the Okavango Delta, Botswana

Pink sky above trees and water

Sunset over the Okavango Delta, Botswana


You say yes to the sunlight and pure fantasies, so you have to say yes to the filth and the nausea. Everything is within you, gold and mud, happiness and pain, the laughter of childhood and the apprehension of death. Say yes to everything, shirk nothing.

Hermann Hesse

Old and new

Ruined temple among trees

The ruins of Banteay Kdei, Angkor, Cambodia

Tall skyscrapers reflecting the sun

Hotels in Abu Dhabi reflecting the sunset


Young and old

Baby wrapped in embroidered red shawl

Baby at a festival in Takayama, Japan

Old woman in a blue cardigan and black headdress

Woman from a minority tribe in the village of Ban Xong Ja, Laos


Fast and slow

Close-up portrait of a large cat with spots

Cheetah at the AfriCat Foundation in Namibia

Head-on shot of a large tortoise

Giant tortoise on Santa Cruz in the Galápagos Islands


To know one thing, you must know the opposite

Henry Moore

Big and small

Large elephant in dry grass

Elephant in Chobe National Park, Botswana

Slim yellow spider

Spider in the Monteverde cloud forest, Costa Rica


Hot and cold

Undulating orange sand dunes

The dunes of Wahiba Sands, Oman

Large icebergs and snowy land

Antarctic icebergs


What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness

John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley

Calm and rough

Lake with jetty and mist

Early morning mist over Kielder Water, Northumberland

Small boat in rough sea

Rough seas off Sal in the Cape Verde Islands


Low down and high up

Brown leaves on wet cobblestones

Fallen leaves on a rainy day in Lucca, Italy

Top of a brick tower with distant mountains

The Torre delle Ore from the Torre Guinigi, Lucca


Every action has an equal and opposite reaction

Isaac Newton

Upside down and right way up

Reflection of an ornate church building

San Michele in Foro, Lucca, reflected in a puddle

Large stone church and blue sky

The church of San Michele in Foro, Lucca

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