Sunday, January 16, 2011

Photographic Juxtaposition

While visiting Monument Valley on the Arizona-Utah line, I was strolling through an area where the local Navajo Native Americans set up a few tables to sell their beautiful jewelry. Nearby was a Porta-Potty. I glanced up to look up at the Left Mitten rock formation, and there it was. A perfect juxtaposition!

One of the most effective ways to express ideas photographically is to juxtapose your subjects. Juxtaposition in photography places objects close together. Generally the images have some bearing on and relativity to each other. Images placed side by side or in proximity beckon the observer to make comparisons or contrasts in order to show similarities or differences.

To me, the juxtaposition is a reminder of the issues and challenges that most, if not all, Native American tribes and  nations face as they enter the 21st century. Most notable to my thoughts are issues such as the lure of urban-life, embracing technology and attaining economic self-sufficiency, while trying to retain tribal culture, social and traditional values.

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