Can you forgive another detour? This week’s photo challenge is just too tempting to pass up: juxtaposition. One of my favorite things to photograph.
We are still in the throes of an amazingly cold (for us here in Central Virginia) winter spell. I’m not complaining; we haven’t had a cold winter in ages. I wrote a short post on the very subject in my Garden Reverie blog recently. Anyway, I haven’t ventured out to take pictures this week so I went through my files and came up with some images that work for me with this week’s theme. I hope you will click on them to enlarge; they look so much better that way.
And, by the way, this is how the dictionary defines the word:
noun: the fact of two things being seen or placed close together with contrasting effect: the juxtaposition of these two images.
I titled this photograph “Heartfelt.” It shows a portion of a vignette on a small table on my kitchen stoop. The “OW” is a shard of a broken fl-OW-er pot that I could not bear to throw away; the marble heart a souvenir from Volterra, Italy. Oddly, they both had been there for quite some time before I really noticed the meaning in their pairing. Then one day I opened my eyes and the light bulb came on. Duh. Perhaps it was a subconscious arrangement.
Here, in “Bottom of the Falls,” the juxtaposition comes from the scale of the objects depicted. I love this picture because it serves as a reminder of how tiny and frail we humans are when compared to the power and grandeur found in the natural world. If you click on the image to enlarge it, you’ll get a better idea. I took this at Niagara Falls, on the Canadian side, shooting back towards the American side. Something about it really speaks to me.
This is at Niagara Falls as well, at the very brink of the American Falls as it plunges hundreds of feet downwards. Have you ever been to Niagara? If you haven’t then you can only imagine the power of that water. You can actually hear the roar of the Falls long before you ever see them. It is an astonishing demonstration of immense and terrifying power. What is striking in this image is, again, the pairing of something mighty against something delicate and fragile. Of course, in reality, that plant is tough as nails growing up as it does from sheer rock.
OK, the irony of this one kind of makes me giggle. Can you read the tattoo on the carnie worker’s arm? It says: Live Life. So look at his expression and body language. And then look at that kid in the purple shirt who looks bored to death. They both seem to me to be doing anything but living life with even the slightest enthusiasm.
Those nattily dressed fellows are two of the Swiss Guard at the Vatican. Aside from the wonderful colors in this image, the contrast between the large mass of the architecture and the smallness of these two soldiers once again brings we humans down to size. I love that they appear to be tiny as Lilliputians when compared to the huge pilasters and windows of St. Peter’s.
This just may be the wildest juxtaposition of all. I mean who would have thought that one would be driving through the beautiful Tuscan countryside and come around a bend only to find a GIANT metal “O” in the middle of nowhere? It was incredibly startling. This is one of the luckiest shots I have ever taken. I was literally hanging out the car window as we whizzed past (thank God someone else was driving) . In reality, the “O” is bright red (even odder in my book) but I got this shot as we were on the back side silhouetted against the sun. It is one of my most favorite images ever. People invariably think I photoshopped it…but, nope, it’s real.
I hope you aren’t getting too antsy for me to get back on the vintage Christmas bus. I do have plenty to tell and show you (including the long-promised look at my Christmas tree) but I just have not been inspired to do so. Perhaps even I need a bit of a break from Christmas. Not to worry, though, one day (and probably quite soon) I’ll be back in the swing. In the meantime, let me know what you think of a few detours. Thanks for coming along for the ride with me.