Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Proximity as a photographic device

click photo to enlarge
Proximity, juxtaposition, adjacency - open the thesaurus and choose your word. Whatever you call it, the photographic device of arranging two, often very different (but sometimes oddly linked) objects in the frame, is one of long standing. Depending on the objects that are chosen this compositional approach can be arresting, humorous, thought provoking, surreal and much else. It's something that I like to do when the situation arises, and a technique that I will often go out of my way to engineer into an image.

I've touched briefly on the subject before, but anyone who has looked through my offerings on this site will recognise the frequency with which I put the idea into practice. I've used a trompe l'oeil bull and a passerby, old and new architecture, primary colours, a traffic sign and a poster, a futuristic public bench and a roller coaster and many other pairings in an effort to bring something new and different to my compositions.

On my recent stay in London the echo of the unusual colours of the ready-mix concrete lorry and the block of flats called for a photograph that made something of the slightly odd proximity of the two. The adjacent railway bridge gave something of a frame to my shot and the whole was lifted by the low sun and deep shadows of the early morning. Not as obvious a juxtaposition as in some of my photographs, but one that pleased me. Incientally, I've commented to my companions on more than one occasion that I really like the architectural treatment of the exterior of this building. Thus far I've found no one who agrees with me!

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Sony RX100
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 14.2mm (38mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f5.6
Shutter Speed: 1/160 sec
ISO: 160
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On