Looking up at leaves against the sky
Lens-Artists,  Photographic techniques,  Themed galleries

Gallery: the tension of opposites

The greater the contrast, the greater the potential. Great energy only comes from a correspondingly great tension of opposites.

Carl Jung

Contrast must be one of the most used words in photography. Usually we are talking about the lighting conditions for an image; the contrast between the light and dark areas. Sometimes it can be hard to balance these if the contrast is great, as in my shot below.

Rocky beach with palm trees
In Drake Bay, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

A little post-editing helped to bring out the details of the rocks and beach in the foreground but they are still rather too dark. However they do help to create a natural frame for the view beyond.

But today, for this post for Amy’s Lens Artists challenge, I’ve decided to present some shots which illustrate contrasts of different kinds: in their subject matter. To make my job harder I’ve tried to find examples where a contrast is apparent within a single shot! However I couldn’t resist including a couple of pairs of photos.

My feature image is of trees and tree ferns in Costa Rica’s cloud forest, contrasted against a pale sky above.

There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast.

Charles Dickens

People standing and sitting in front of blue wave projection

Light and dark: visitors at an art installations exhibition in London

Black door latch shaped like a leaf

Black and white: a door in Filandia, Colombia

[this is not, by the way, a black and white image!]

View of a river flowing into the sea
View of a river flowing into the sea at sunset

Morning and evening, contrasting times of day: the view from Lagarta Lodge, Costa Rica

River with dramatic sky, boats and city skyscrapers

Bright weather and stormy: the Thames at Bermondsey, late afternoon

Sculpture of a large woman leaning towards the camera
Painting of a large woman being painted by an artist

Front and back: in the Botero Museum, Bogota, Colombia

Old house surrounded by skyscrapers

Old and new architecture: the Richard H. Driehaus Museum, Chicago

[this is the original colour version of the monochrome edit in my Chicago in black and white post]

Elderly lady with an infant in a shawl

Old(er) and young: in the minority village of Phou Taen Khamu, Laos

Grey stone statue with marigold flowers and silk cloth

Hard and soft: the Vishnu statue at Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave, Pokhara, Nepal, draped in silk and marigolds

Crowded street with laden donkeys, rickshaws and motorbikes

Motorised and non motorised transport: on Temple Road, Udaipur

Looking down at line where the land meets the sea

Land and sea: from a flight to Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

Looking down at an oasis in a rocky desert landscape

Wet and dry: Wadi Bani Khalid, Oman

Flower growing in a rock crevice

Dead and alive: flower growing on Mount Paektu, North Korea


Do share your thoughts, I'd love to hear from you!

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