The Magic Frame – Relevance


A disclaimer: I said that I would be back in a week, and I will…. after tomorrow

I have not gotten into this one for some time. However, a few moons ago, I spoke about “Isolation” and “Simplicity”. This is what many photographers recommend when composing a photograph.

I often believe that simplicity is a metaphor for life. However, that is a philosophical topic for another time. From a user interface perspective, two of the best examples of simplicity are Apple products and the Google landing page. I am speaking of the user interface here. There is a lot of complexity behind the simplicity, but what you see is minimal and simple.

Similarly, a well composed photograph often hides the rather complex thought behind.

Simplicity and isolation are critical, but they are incomplete unless all the elements of a photograph are relevant and balance each other.


If I look at this photograph above, it is simple. The main elements have been isolated. Yet, in some ways – could you describe this as empty? Perhaps yes, and perhaps no.


Now in this picture, there is more than one element. There are two. However, in my view, they are balanced and show a relationship between the two men. The introduction of the second man is entirely relevant to the picture and, to some extent, lifts it.

This is a short enough post. However, when a photo tells a story, the elements and composition should be simple. The key elements should be easy to isolate and they need to not only be relevant to each other, but they need to balance each other.


  1. Hey Rajiv .. you are absolutely right. I kept staring at the images and thought somehow the first image was missing something. Warmth .. not sure. But the second image with the addition of the second man offers something else indeed. Interest, balance … very good. 😀

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