Compare and contrast photography styles. Be the judge and jury.
Are You Being Judged by the Style of Your Images? Side-By-Side Comparisons of Different Photos

The photographers are revealed! Photograph comparisons side by side

Today's post reveals the photographers in side-by-side comparisons of photos of identical content with different backgrounds.

Here are some issues to consider:

Does one background really fit all work?

Does the color of the background contribute to the emotion or vocabulary of the work?

Does one background work for all situations such as online marketplaces, social networking, jury review for shows, books, and magazines? What about your website?

In a side-by-side comparison of two images by two different photographers, how much original content does the photographer add? Are we seeing the creativity from the photographer or skill? Who do you think owns the copyright of the image?

What about the reflection of the work? The shadow? Do these add a foundation for the work? Or are they a distraction?

Are we becoming influenced by what can be done in PhotoShop?  Has PhotoShop as a tool, become a style?

What other issues come to your mind when you look at these images? You're welcome to comment about the photos so that your opinion can be included in future posts.

On Thursday's post, comments and discussion will begin on the topic.

Disclaimer: The images in this post may have been cropped or re-sized in an attempt to make the objects in the photos a similar size for side by side comparison.  The merit or demerit for leaving more or less background space around the object will be discussed in another post as a separate issue.

Image 1 a.                         Image1 b. 
The brooch in the above photos is “Sleeper Cell” © 2009  Andy Cooperman. Burlwood, sterling, gold leaf, stain. The left photo is by Doug Yaple. The right photo is by Steven Brian Samuels.

Image 2 a.                             Image 2 b. 
The brooch in the above photos is “Potter” ©2009 Andy Cooperman. Burlwood, sterling, 18k, stain. The left photo is by Doug Yaple. The right photo is by Steven Brian Samuels.

Image 3 a.                         Image 3 b.  
Test1aJ Hall 12-09_9887
Test2aJ Hall 12-09_9867
Pendant in the above photos: Black Heart ©2009 Jennifer Hall  Sterling silver, silk ribbon. Both photos by Doug Yaple.

Image 4 a.                          Image 4 b. 
Test4aA Cooperman 6-09_3008Test3aA Cooperman 6-09_3052
Ring (above) ©2009 Andy Cooperman. Sterling, gold, copper, copal amber. Both photos by Doug Yaple.

Image 5 a.                         Image 5 b. 
Necklace in above photos by Marcia Meyers.©2009 "Homage to Sliced Green Pepper",  reticulated silver, sterling, and coral. Both photos by Doug Yaple.

The next photos compare similar items on different backgrounds.
Image 6 a.                           
Image 6 b.
AskharrieteBerman_4.7.07Back_72AskHarrieteOreoIMG_7919_web 1000x

Octangonal Bracelet ©2009 by Harriete Estel Berman (left image) Photo Credit: Philip Cohen. 
Oreo "Unlock the Magic" © 2009 by Harriete Estel Berman (right image) Photo Credit: Steven Brian Samuels.

In the images below, the two necklaces are not the same but very similar.  "Orbit Black and White Identity Necklace 1 and 2" © by Harriete Estel Berman.  I did my best to make the images the same size, but obviously, the photographers chose different angles for capturing this necklace. Which approach do you like better? Does the shadow or reflection work more effectively?
Image 7 a.                         Image 7 b.

Orbit Black and White Identity Necklace #2 (left image) by Harriete Estel Berman
Photo Credit: Steven Brian Samuels.
Orbit Black and White Identity Necklace #1 (right image)by Harriete Estel Berman
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen.

As a result of a comment following the previous post about the use of "colored backgrounds" in photographic images, I have added the images below. The photos below are predigital. Yes, the left photo was actually photographed on a yellow background.

Image 8a.                                Image 8b.
Patchwork Quilt, Small Pieces of Time ©1989 by Harriete Estel Berman (left and right images) Photo Credit for both images: Philip Cohen.

In the third post in this series on Thursday,  I will discuss the difference in backgrounds, angles, lighting. Does the color of the background contribute to the emotion or vocabulary of the work?

The world of photography is changing rapidly.  Is your photography up to date? Is it an effective tool?
• Are you being judged by the style of your images?
• How much post-production is acceptable and who should do the work?
• Current trends in background and composition.
• The model or the pedestal?
• and much more……

These issues and more will be discussed at the Professional Development Seminar titled, Photography in Flux: Technical Issues, Media and Style.


Philip Cohen, Photographer
Oakland, CA.

Steven Brian Samuels, Artist/photographer
New Jersey.
Phone 845.300.9693

Doug Yaple Photographer
Seattle, WA.

This post was updated on February 5,  2022.