The Magic Frame: Simplicity



One of the things that I was ‘taught’ in photography was that the simpler the composition, the better. Google’s landing page is amazingly simple. It draws you in.

The maxim these days, is ‘less is more’.

I think that the critical point to note here, is how much is ‘less’ and who defines what ‘less’ is. This is often a matter of subjective interpretation, but I think most of us can recognise when a photograph is horribly complex where there is no single defining element that draws you into the relationship. Or, where there is no relationship between the various elements of the photograph. In such cases, the photograph just serves to confuse.

The picture that I took and have posted above, is a very simple one. I was sitting at a friend’s house, on a cane stool and noticed the contrast between the stone below. I also noticed the lines, and then realised that if I angled my frame in a particular way, then we actually divided the frame into triangular elements. Okay, it does not look like that way above, but in the original photo, we have three triangles, two contrasting colours, and distinct textures on the floor.

It may not be a great photograph, but I hope that it helps to illustrate the point.

Simplicity goes a long way in making clean compositions.

In my view, we need to do as much in camera as possible, and keep as little scope for in-computer manipulation. Maybe, this is my outmoded view, which has come down from my early grounding in black & white film photography. But, more of that another time.



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