Simplicity is so important in taking great pictures that I’ve made it the entire topic of today’s post. There are many rules of composition but they all defer to keeping it simple.
I remember as a younger photographer, how I would try to use too many of these compositional techniques in one image. This would often lead to the most cluttered pictures, with no sense of subject, theme or continuity.
Trying to stuff so many interesting things in the frame was not working! Why? Because it’s as much about what you don’t include in the scene, as what you do! Ask yourself what am I taking a picture of? It almost seems like a strange question but it’s the most important thing you could establish. Then, all other compositional choices should be to support that subject.
Any time you take something beautiful and concentrate the viewers’ eye on only it, you will have beautiful photography. Remember the eye goes to the brightest, sharpest, most colourful thing in the scene.
So as you learn more ways to take dramatic photos, try to remember to ask yourself the key question – What’s my subject? When you can answer this, all else will be more clear. Then find ways to create simple composition that will focus all of the viewer’s attention on that area. Using a shallow depth of field is one way of having a non-distracting background but so are lighting and angle of view. I will get more into these topics in a later blog.
To put it all together, first establish what your subject matter is, focus on it, light for it, swivel around until there’s nothing in the image that bothers you… then take the shot!
I hope that helps!