Stills V3

January 4, 2009

Construction hut

Filed under: Doonster — doonster @ 18:22

Construction hut, The Hague, January 2008

A recurring theme of mine – juxtaposition of manmade geometry and nature.



  1. The inclusion of the angle on the far right make this much more interesting than it would otherwise be. They also shift my focus of attention away from the tree which makes it become a slightly threatening prescence approaching me in my blind spot.

    Not a comfy picture to look at but an intriguing one.

    Comment by Colin — January 4, 2009 @ 22:05

  2. That tree does look menacing, but I think there’s too much of it in frame; I’m struggling to find balance here, but perhaps that’s the point.

    Comment by matt — January 5, 2009 @ 14:20

  3. the corner pieces on the right certainly help push the eye back across the page and make me wonder what might be down the side of the building

    Comment by Gordon — January 5, 2009 @ 23:14

  4. I’ve been wondering whether this should be more abstract or left as is. As Colin says: not comfy, so it depends on description – or contrast. The perspective drop-offs on the right are possibly what cause the balance problem, not the bulk of the tree. Which takes us back to abstract, or pattern. The strongest thing for me in this is the break of the horizontal panel on the hut: as if to say that the tree manages breaks both horizontally and vertically, while the hut only manages them in discrete sections.

    Comment by John Ellis — January 6, 2009 @ 07:40

  5. I think in terms of a juxtaposition between the natural and the manmade textures, the horizontal slats don’t add to the juxtaposition. In a juxtaposition I am looking for a bit of mimicry so the vertical nature of the bark goes well with the vertical nature of the hut, not with the window slats.

    Comment by Rex — January 6, 2009 @ 21:05

  6. The bark is fissured horizontally as well as vertically.

    Comment by John Ellis — January 6, 2009 @ 22:25

  7. Thinking further about the word juxtaposition, Rex: are you not asking the word to do more than its dictionary definition?

    Comment by John Ellis — January 7, 2009 @ 08:24

  8. The picture is intriguing. The forcing of the 3 planes of this picture into one 2D picture plane maybe the uncomfortable aspect we are seeing here. The close and what we expect to be round tree flattened out on the left, the flat building front and the receding side just do not feel like they shoudl be placed on a flat picture together.

    Comment by Robert Hoehne — January 7, 2009 @ 10:03

  9. Juxtaposition has a simple meaning and I’m sure it meets the dictionary meaning. I think the question is why do we juxtapose in photography. That is where I’m looking for something beyond the ditionary. Martin put them together because of juxtaposition of manmade geometry and nature. I was looking for a juxtaposition of patern to emphasise the manmade vs the natural. The window slats disturbed that however I have no idea if the image would improve if the slats were not present.

    Comment by Rex — January 7, 2009 @ 13:10

  10. I think where Rex is using the term juxtaposition beyond it’s dictionary meaning, I’d consider using the idea of rhythm and visually rhyming elements.

    Vertical ideas of lines, repeating in horizontal ideas of lines, same shapes repeating at different scales, that sort of thing.

    Comment by Gordon — January 7, 2009 @ 19:14

  11. I am enjoying the discussion on this one. FWIW, I think I’ve been pretty successful – all the comments are in line with the sort of reactions I was hoping for.

    Comment by doonster — January 8, 2009 @ 00:06

  12. I see a face and eye hiding behind the tree. Therefore I find the two triangle corners a necessity. It also adds depth and some strength behind the tree. It’s almost as if the hut is pushing against the tree. Not comfy on the eye but nevertheless plenty of geometry to keep one occupied.

    Comment by akikana — January 8, 2009 @ 00:57

  13. “not comfy” certainly works in describing this for me, though the tree trunk doesn’t feel as threatening to me as much as the sharp edge of the shed does!

    Martin — you say the comments “are in line with the sort of reactions I was hoping for.” I’m curious about more specifically just what your intent was and why you feel you have been successful following this discussion.

    Comment by Christina — January 9, 2009 @ 04:46

  14. Christina – maybe this post answers that question.

    Comment by doonster — January 9, 2009 @ 06:25

  15. Better the link than a long e-mail!! But useful. One thing has struck me, and that is that the picture looks better in the small version: in that the shapes (all the juxtapositions and not just tree to hut) just seem to come together better. Certainly, to labour a point, it wouldn’t maintain interest for me without the horizontal element.

    Comment by John Ellis — January 9, 2009 @ 10:57

  16. What most gets my attention is the contrasting verticals. The rough irregular ones in the tree trunk hold me. I want to continue exploring nooks and crannies as well as find new paths. When I move to the verticals of the hut, I “slide right off” and find myself returning to the tree. Then those horizontals compel me venture to the right again and so it goes.

    Comment by Anita Jesse — January 10, 2009 @ 05:01

  17. Thanks for the link, Martin. I agree with John about the smaller version.

    Comment by Christina — January 10, 2009 @ 19:57

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