Exercise: Juxtaposition

Juxtaposition means to position two things side by side usually for the act of comparison or contrast. In photography this can have many uses and is a technique which often adds an element of humour to a shot or can be used to imply a connection which the viewer may or may not see.

The course text suggested two options for me to demonstrate juxtaposing, neither of which I have used! The two suggested methods - a still life shot of linked objects to be used for a book cover or a shot of a person with or holding something they are connected with in some way - were interesting concepts and I may well come back to this later. However, a technique also suggested in the text was to use the apparent compressing effect of a long focal length lens to group two objects together when they may not ordinarily be seen this way. This is the technique I have used.


I noticed that a handrail in my local park was a similar shape to the goal posts in the distance. However, they were quite some distance apart and normal human vision didn't really make the connection between the two. However, from previous experience I was aware that a long focal length lens can make distant objects appear to loom larger in the shot. So with this in mind I took the photograph below at an efl of around 200mm. This has seemingly brought the goalposts much closer to the handrail and made the juxtaposition much clearer.

35mm equivalent focal length of 200mm

The image below, taken the following day, shows the shot taken at 35mm (efl of 55mm) and with me standing much closer to the subject. The juxtaposing effect, although still there, is certainly lessened by the smaller and apparently more distant goalposts.

35mm equivalent focal length of 55mm