What’s life without spice?
What’s black without white?
What’s an image without light?
Relativity is everything. Emotions need contrast. Judgements cannot be made without comparisons. There is nothing that exists on its own – dualism is the essence of existence.
Take this picture as an example. The duality in this case is showcased in the interplay between light and the subject. The hectic movement of the shorebirds is in stark contrast to the soft light associated with early morning light. There is order to the madness; a calmness to the chaos.
This image presents a different view of drama. The intensely bright, blown-out highlights caused by the setting sun contrasts with the mystery of the Heron in the foreground. There is no visible detail in either the highlights or the shadows but the picture conveys a story. There is an intangible element to the scene. It’s lively. It has punch. It’s dramatic.
This photograph shows three layers of drama – the waves in the background, the subject, and the rocks in the foreground. The oncoming waves create tension and add dynamism to the picture, while the bird and the barnacles radiate a sense of serenity. The blurred out rocks in the foreground serve to frame the subject in such a way as to capture the juxtaposition of turbulence and calmness in the scene.
Life isn’t black and white. There is a certain vagueness to everything, and yet it’s all very obvious. It’s full of contradictions and complications, and yet simple enough that we all get to experience it. It’s about highs and lows, yet we keep searching for balance instead of embracing the drama and the sheer ridiculousness of it all. We pray for peace and indulge in arguments. We ask questions and reject the answers if they aren’t what we want to hear. What do we really want? I’m not sure we’re close to knowing the answer just yet..