As today is the first day of my learning challenge I’ve been anxious about not learning anything and therefore not having anything to write about. I needn’t have worried.

I’ve just stumbled upon Johannes Itten’s table of contrasts which formed a major aspect of his Bauhaus foundation course. It’s said that his theory of composition was rooted in one simple concept: contrasts. Contrasts between light and dark, shapes, colours, and even sensations. His intention was to ‘awaken a vital feeling for the subject through a personal observation.’ In thinking about contrasts his students were ‘to experience them with their senses, objectivize them intellectually, and realize them synthetically.’ The process for this was three-fold:

  1. Get a feeling for each contrast without thinking of it as an image
  2. List ways of putting this sensation across
  3. Make a picture.

In my current photography course I’m taking photos of people, often in busy streets or markets.  I’m wondering if the contrast here is the small moment of stillness captured when an individual is looking at my camera and the business of the street or market context. Using Itten’s contrast table perhaps it’s a ‘still/busy’ contrast. Thanks to the folk at Bolton markets for this one.






I’ve also learnt that my local Tesco store stocks these sweets from my childhood. Barratt seems to have morphed into Candyland but the best thing is that they don’t seem to be smaller!


One thought on “Contrasts

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