Juxtaposition weight

December 08, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

I have written about visual weight before and am doing so again today because it is important to composition and balance. Visual weight is the weight our brains attach to elements in a scene. Too much weight on one side of the image and the image loses its balance. The size and material an object is made of determine its visual weight. Its color also determines the object's weight. Darker objects weigh heavier than lighter objects visually. Distance can also be used to determine the weight and to offset weight. A smaller item close by can offset the weight of a larger item in the distance. Let's look at an example:

Half Dome, (the granite rock just to the left of the sun) adds visual weight to the upper left of the image. If nothing is placed on the right side to offset that weight this image will not be balanced. Our minds will think that the image wants to tilt to the left and down because there is more weight there than to the right. Half Dome is also darkish which makes it weigh more visually. So how do we create balance? We need to juxtapose an object on the right that will bring about balance.

          That is exactly what I have done. The bolder at the front right adds weight there because it is well sized. It also adds interest because of the green letchin on it. The juxtaposition of Half Dome with the bolder in the foreground makes the image look well balanced. It makes for a pleasing composition.

          Think about visual weight in your composition and use the juxtaposition of weight to create balance.


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