Five Elements of Control: #4 Context

Have you ever seen something that looks so out of place that it catches your eye?  Well catch it with your lens too, because contextual positioning of subjects in interesting or unusual/unexpected areas creates visual interest.  This is what I refer to as controlling the context of your subject.  So many times I’ve heard people tell me “but how can I change the surroundings?”  The answer lies not in changing the surroundings of subjects you want to shoot, butin reversing that idea:  find unusual subjects in your given surroundings.  Say you are on a photo walk and in a city area.  Well, try and find subject matter that contradicts the sense of city.

Additionally, you can also create contextual appeal by the use of negative space too.  See something standing all by itsef, or away from other things?  That’s a picture possibility!  Conversely, something that is amidst other things could be a cue for creative expression.  What if you saw a plastic water bottle among some glass beer bottles?  That could be cool…or what if you had a computer mouse sitting in a mousetrap?  You can create subject and background contextual associations in your own environment too ya know.  Photographers that make good money do it all the time.  (Hint:  that’s called stock photography! 🙂 )

Here’s a few examples to give you a springboard for creativity.  Find something you like?  Tell me below!  (I love to get feedback on photos just like everyone else…)  Got your own ideas?  Share those below too!  Sound off in the comments, and don’t forget to keep on shooting!  (That Flickr Contest thread is still alive and kicking you know – great chance to win $500 of gear, including a Thinktank bag System and a copy of the Topaz Labs PS Plugin Bundle!)

Trapped Bicycle

Trapped Bicycle

Hidden Planter

Hidden Planter

Hidden Planter

Hidden Planter

Alcohol Plumbing

Alcohol Plumbing

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