It’s an old saying, “Less is more!”, and can mean many things depending on the context. I think of this in my photography sometimes. When looking for an interesting composition you have to consider all options.
At one time i was quite a wide angle freak. Slowly i’ve learned to sometimes focus on details. So focusing on less, is more!
Another way of looking at it is in a minimalistic way. We see it in art a lot, perhaps in a single colour painting with no detail, or there may be a small detail and very plain background. This minimalism can be seen again as being “Less is more!”
This photograph has very little detail, but i liked the sky with just a few wisps of cloud, the gentle rippling of the sea, and right at the bottom there’s a lone gull. As i sat there it looked like a painting, and i wanted to try and do it justice in a photograph.
The next two photographs show parts of trees against the sky. The first has a nice blue to the background. The second looks grey due to the severe haze on a sunny day. They create a very minimal composition, but i think they’re also interesting in their positions in the frame.
Rather than photographing the sunset in a regular way, i sometimes like to keep the sun out of focus. It’s a well used technique, and can be very beautiful.
For the first one here i used a long zoom lens and then defocused the whole image. The darker area is a line of trees, with the ones on the right being on higher ground, and so creating a frame for the huge sun.
In the second one i decided to focus on the twig from a tree, so with shallow depth of field the sun is again out of focus.
This next photo shows how a shallow depth of field with a dark background can make you focus on a single detail, in this case an old light fitting in a derelict building.
As in the above photo, this one again uses a shallow depth of field with a dark background of distant trees. It’s a single large daisy clinging on at the top of a limestone cliff face. I decided to frame it with a little of the rock with grass so it gives it some context. But it still has quite a minimal effect and forces the focus onto the flower.
I’m now going back to one of my favourite subjects. I like pylons and power lines, i think they can make wonderful compositions. This one is very simple and has a wonderful clear blue sky as a background. But it also has an aeroplane flying through to just add a little more interest.
here is an example of simply using the colour in the landscape. We would normally look for shape and form, how the rocks are, maybe the trees etc, and we get some awesome photographs. But here i just looked at the two main colours and the natural divide between them.
This final photograph is a little different. It’s still very simple with very little to show what happened. For me that’s the beauty of this one. If i posted it in a series of photos you could see the story unfold, but as a single image it can leave the viewer asking what happened, and so is open to personal interpretation.