Juxtaposition In Street Photography

Street photography with Craig Boehman.

I prefer the Wikipedia definition of Juxtaposition compared to others simply for the fact that "similarities" is part of it: Juxtaposition is an act or instance of placing two elements close together or side by side. This is often done in order to compare/contrast the two, to show similarities or differences, etc.

For photographers, this is potentially a boon of entertainment and discussion in waiting for those of us who take the time to seek it out with our lenses. The one thing I had in mind as I stood by and took many photos of these two boys was the fact that there were methi farmers in the background working. Right off the bat, I was thinking about juxtaposition when I realized there was a chance I could capture a moment like this with my subjects.

After sifting through dozens of photos, I disregarded action scenes that were much better than this one only because those particular shots didn't have the farmers lining up nicely in the background. Once again, the idea of juxtaposition determining my edits loomed large in my mind simply because it became a challenge. I think it worked out perfectly because in the end there were more traits to compare and contrast than what I imagined when I first started photographing the scene.

Contrast: Young vs. Old; Play vs. Work; both groups' height difference to the viewer; the fact that the boys are concerned with what's up, the men with what's down; and the boys' faces are unobscured while we can't see the men's faces properly.

Compare: all subjects are male; are involved with activities that seek to cultivate vertical rise; all are very much concentrating on their respective activities.

Whenever I see an opportunity for it, I seek out juxtaposition in my photography because it gives me a chance to bring order to an otherwise chaotic environment that is street photography.

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