Documentary photographers have long used contrast to point out injustice. Images of the living among the dead, the powerless and vulnerable among the powerful, the beautiful in a setting of atrocity, or vice versa.

The larger question then is “How can contrasts and juxtapositions be used to strengthen the aspects of the subject you want to highlight?” Here are some further questions that can help you unpack that:

  • What makes my subject stand out, and how can I make it stand out more? Could a change in my perspective make the subject larger relative to the smaller elements, or vice versa?
  • Could a change in my optics allow me to better isolate that contrast, eliminating not just clutter but competing visual ideas? Would a wider lens moved closer ...

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