jux·ta·pose [juhk-stuh-pohz, juhk-stuh-pohz]
verb (used with object), -posed, -pos·ing_to place close together or side by side, especially for comparison or contrast_
Yesterday, shortly after I posted my image of this burnt out structure with a sunburst shining through a hole in one of the walls, someone left a comment asking why I wanted to happy up a grunge shot. It was a good question and I had the answer immediately – it was to create juxtaposition using elements presented to me within my scene. It is something I strive to do as often as possible, especially when one of the elements is so dominant – such as this series of UrbEx images. The dominant element clearly is the gloom and murk. Being able to juxtapose and contrast that by using something as cheery as the bright sun is a wonderful thing in my book.
I took the same exact approach with this image. While I wish I could take credit for expertly arranging a pile of bricks to spell out this wonderful word, I was more than happy to capitalize on the effort by shooting it. In the case of this shot, not only was I able to juxtapose the seemingly hostile and cold nature of the grungy scene with the warm singular word, LOVE, but I was also able to use it to literally spell out the word that represents the emotion I feel most when shooting this type of scenery. I absolutely love UrbEx and grunge photography and I am lucky every time I get an opportunity to partake in it.
So, next time you’re out shooting, try looking beyond the face value of what your scene presents to you. See if you can incorporate some juxtaposition and give your viewers something more to ponder about with your image.
In terms of processing
This is another tone-mapped HDR image using Photomatix. I used the firmware to obtain nine bracketed shots with my Canon 5D Mark II and Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L lens.
Stylization was achieved using a stack of custom built effects inPerfect Effects 3. I was able to vary my depth of field to be more shallow using FocalPoint 2, as well. I did this to further bring the viewer’s eye to the lower third of the frame and focus on the LOVE bricks.