Photography Composition

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Simple Composition

21.06.2007 Category: Photography Composition
The saying "less is more" is often true in image composition. The photo is often more beautiful and effective if unnecessary elements are left out of the frame. A common mistake is to try to include all possible things in one photo. It is often wise to include only one clear center of interest into the photo.

When you are taking a photo, you should check if there are any distracting elements on the edges of the frame. The photos on this page are examples of simple yet effective compositions. In fact one reason why they work is their simplicity.

Effect of Simplicity

A simple photo about a girl on the beach

Picture 1. Simplicity can make the composition work.

Picture 1 was shot in Thailand in Phuket island. The photo was taken on a beach in front of a popular hotel. At the time of photo the beach was very busy. Despite of the busy beach I wanted to take a simple photograph. I wanted my daughter to be the only center of interest in the photo and additionally I wanted to include the wave into the photo. I had to wait for a while for that right moment when other people were out of the photo and the wave was at the right position. Finally that special moment presented itself and I was able to take this shot. I think that simplicity works for the benefit of the photo.

One Clear Subject

A simple photo about dolphins

Picture 2. It's often wise to choose one clear subject into the photo. It's also wise to make sure the photo is taken close enough.

I think Picture 2 works because of it's simplicity and the fact that there is one clear center of interest. Other factors that work for the benefit of the photo are strong colors and the fact that the subject is close.

In the same situation it would have been much easier to take a photo with a wider view. But I think that would have been less interesting photo.

Even though the cropping is tight and the photo is simple, it still tells the same story as a wider view would. The photo clearly tells us about a dolphin show in a pool, and there are obviously spectators around. Spectators and edges of the pool don't have to be included in the photo to tell the story. Tight photo can tell all that and additionally we can explore the details of the subject itself.