Capture Contrasts - tyneholm
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Capture Contrasts

Assignment L15

This assignment takes us back to one of the building blocks of composition: contrast. The importance of contrast was emphasized by the Bauhaus school of art, design, and architecture. The design instructor Johannes ltten felt that contrast was the basis for composition and he produced a list of contrasts, which included these pairs: 

  • large/small
  • hard/soft
  • thick/thin
  • light/heavy
  • straight/curved
  • continuous/intermittent
  • much/little
  • pointed/blunt
  • light/dark
  • loud/soft
  • black/white
  • strong/weak
  • diagonal/ circular.

While few designs make use of just one kind of contrast, one type usually does dominate the others. 

Set yourself a time limit of 2-3 hours, visit a location, and, using the list above as inspiration, shoot as many pictures illustrating different types of contrasts as you can. 

View the images


  • Think outside the box. ltten’s list (see main text) is not exhaustive and should be used as a starting point for your own inspiration. Try to think of more conceptual or non-visual contrasts, such as loud/quiet.

Field Notes

  • Time for observing and thinking is important in this assignment. Resist the temptation to get your camera out immediately, and instead spend some time walking around, looking for different types of contrasts. Having found some, spend some time thinking about how they could be used as the basis for compositions. When you are ready, start shooting.