Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Make the effort to create a meaningful body of workThis Article Features Photo Zoom
“What’s really important is to simplify. The work of most photographers would be improved immensely if they could do one thing: get rid of the extraneous. If you strive for simplicity, you are more likely to reach the viewer.”
—William Albert Allard
I know you’ve heard this before: Keep it simple. It’s a good adage for life in general, and it works well for me in photography. Regarding image design, it’s my mantra.
One key way to create simple images with strong impact is to choose simple backgrounds for your subjects. Finding good subjects is hard enough, but finding good backgrounds is still harder. When composing your photographs, look carefully throughout the frame, including the foreground, the edges and especially the background.
Bridalveil Fall. Another type of lighting condition occurs when a subject is brightly lit and the background is in shadow. Here’s a photograph of Bridalveil Fall in Yosemite Valley. If you get there at the right time of day, you can catch the sunlight hitting the water before the light strikes the cliff as well. Given the bright white subject, the waterfall is dramatic when set off by the dark background. Still another advantage of this lighting is that the sidelighting brings out the textures of the water. Ansel Adams made this special lighting famous in his Bridalveil Fall from 1948 (http://www.anseladams.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=196). In situations like this, the light becomes a major component of the image design.
I hope these ideas help you create clean compositions and greater impact for your photographs!
“Ultimately, simplicity is the goal in every art, and achieving simplicity is one of the hardest things to do. Yet it’s easily the most essential.”
To visit his Photo Blog or sign up for newsletter updates on his Landscape Essentials course with BetterPhoto.com, visit William Neill’s website at www.WilliamNeill.com.
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