Keep it Simple
First of all, let me apologize to the Tribe for a long break from the blog. I’m currently completing a doctorate, and studies have taken up all my time. I will do my best to regularly write for the blog.
As we grow in our skills as photographers, it’s easy to find ourselves feeling like there should be more to what we can do.
When doing work for Canon PhotoYou, Readers Digest’s photography magazine, for example, I set out on my first assignment thinking I had to do something different for the story: that my compositions had to include something more than what I usually know how to do . But as I actually began shooting, I realized something. The skills of composition that allow you to create a well-designed image aren’t complicated.
I realized that keeping a composition simple was inevitably what made it work.
This week’s module is about simplicity in composition. By keeping it simple, you keep the composition clean.
How do you keep it simple?
Find an uncluttered background.
Moving around the subject is one of the best things you can do while shooting. You’re not going to run out of film, right? Take shots from different angles to discover what makes the best, most uncluttered background for your subject.
Pay attention to colors in the foreground, subject, and background, and create harmony.
Moving around also gives you somewhat different color palettes to choose from. Complementary colors are the most attractive, such as blue and yellow. (Although these colors don’t have to be exact, they can be approximately in that hue.)
Often simple lines help your compo.
Pay attention to the lines in the composition. Lines lead the eye in often very graceful ways, and sometimes crossing lines also give a tension to the image, pulling the eye in different directions, but in a way that makes the viewer think.
Go back to basics of design.
Don’t forget your basics of design we have talked about in a previous module called “What’s in the Frame.”There is no substitute for good design in an image.
It’s how you see that makes the image, not content.
Finally, one last tip: it’s your inner vision that really counts in image making. Things that seem mundane can actually make great images, memorable images. Interpreting the image from the elements you see in the physical world is the act of creating the photograph. Ask yourself, what are you trying to show or say with the image? This thoughtfulness separates the snapshot from the photograph.
If you’re still game, let’s make some images this week, paying attention to the compositional tips above. Post your best image in our Facebook page, and let’s get this show back on track!