Monday, 21 March 2011

Contrast 2

Light and Dark.

Walking around Newcastle we had to walk under this tunnel. It goes under the railway line and is pretty dark. This made me think of all the connotations of dark versus light. It certainly goes further than just the amount of visible light on a subject, dark is night, mystery, fear and the Gothic world of the Victorian Romantics now copied in our teenagers.

ISO 600, 28mm, f/5.1, 1/40 sec
On examining the image I saw the two somewhat threatening figures lurking at the side of the tunnel which balance the two people walking across the lit area at the end.

We went around a corner and came across another tunnel. This one is part of the High Level Bridge, which carries the same railway line over its top level. This time the path was bright. Both the bridge and the tunnel must have been built around the same time as both are associated with the railway but the are in completely contrasting styles, presumably one was aimed for use by the workers, while the other was a much more visible celebration of skill.

ISO 800, 37mm, f/5.6, 1/40 sec
Here one is also passing under a railway bridge - but it is much less threatening. One clearly moves from light and to light. Light is associated with day, the sun, clarity, and truth.

Contrasts here:
  1. light and dark
  2. safety and danger
  3. under and over

Hard and soft.

These two images were originally planned to show the contrast between many and few, but when I looked at them more closely I realised that they fitted this category better. I took them having bought myself a bunch of flowers and having been struck by the contrasts  in it.

Soft implies soft to the touch and to the emotions. It is often associated with light colours and also a soft focus effect.

ISO 100, 45mm, f/22, 13secs
The first image is of the plant gypsophilium, know colloquially as Baby's Breath. The flower heads are tiny and multiple but when enlarged like this they look soft. Here the whole image also has a soft and dreamy look about it, emphasised by the muted colours in the background and the short depth of field.

The next two images are both a contrast to this one. Hard can be interpreted as metallic, solid, unbending, or difficult.

ISO 400, 45mm, f/11, 1/3 sec
Here the flowers are much harsher, with spiky leaves and stiff stems. In this image the processing has made the flowers look as though they are made of glass.

ISO 640, 45mm, f/16, 1/30 sec.
In the second contrasting image the flower now looks as though made of metal, possibly silver. I prefer the first image of these two, but the contrast is possibly less strong. Contrasts here are:
  1. hard and soft
  2. dark and light
  3. many and few
  4. colour and monochrome

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