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Quick Photo Tips

Quick Photo Tip: A Visual Dichotomy

A visual dichotomy at work.

A visual dichotomy at work.

noun \dī-ˈkä-tə-mē

A difference between two opposite things : a division into two opposite groups. A division into two mutually exclusive groups or entities.The dichotomy between theory and practice.The process or practice of making such a division of the population into two opposed classes.

Ok, now that all of you know what a dichotomy is, I can get to the reason of why it can be an important part of our thought process when looking for subject matter to photograph.

I’m always telling my online students with the PPSOP  and in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around the planet, to look for that which is un-predictable. Something that conveys more than one idea. It’s all about keeping the viewer interested in what we have to say. That could be in using Line to move the viewer around the frame, or entertaining him with interesting Patterns, Shapes, and Textures at a location you found; to name just a few. As in the photo above, it could be in an interesting dichotomy that shows an American Flag, a sign that says Tamales for sale, and with an Hispanic woman posing for me in the back of her trailer.

The photo tells a story, and it’s one that the viewer will write himself. He has all the ingredients: An Hispanic woman, an American Flag, a trailer, and a sign that says Tamales for sale.

So when you’re out looking for ideas to shoot, keep a dichotomy in mind. Look for interesting parts of a puzzle that mean something totally different when photographed by themselves, but when added together convey a completely new and different meaning; that often works well together.

Man and his dog.

Man and his dog.

Here’s another example of a dichotomy at work. This huge bearded tough looking man with a very small pet.

Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out my 2015 workshop schedule at the top of this blog. I have two openings left in my next “springtime” workshop in Portugal.Next July 26th I’ll be back at the Maine Media Workshop for my 27th year. a fantastic place full of energy and lot of photographers on the campus to share your experience with. I always pick this same week as it’s the week of the Lobster Festival down the road in Rockland. A different set of photo opts: people watching and portraiture, color, light, and design.

I have one spot left for my “Autumn in Provence” workshop to be next October 21st. We’ll be shooting during the Fall foliage. In April of 2016, in conjunction with Epic Photo Tours, I’ll be leading a group to the coastal cities of North and Central Viet Nam. You’ll see and take pictures of subject matter you would only see in magazines like National Geographic.

Don’t forget to send me a photo and question to: AskJoeB@gmail.com


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