Let’s keep things simple.  Why simplify and why does it work so well in photography?

When you look at a scene with your naked eye, your brain quickly picks out subjects of interest.  Go ahead try this.  Take a glance around the room where you are.  Are you finding something interesting?  With our eyes – and brain – we are able to look at a scene and selectively see only the important elements and basically ignore the rest.

When you point your camera to ANY scene, your camera does not discriminate.  A camera sees all the details within the field of view.  Your camera captures everything in front of it, which can lead to a cluttered messy picture with no clear focal point.   When you view your photos later you might even be confused and not remember what the subject was because it’s smaller in the frame or even less striking.

So, remember – and this is very VERY important.  Don’t let your camera rule you.  YOU rule your camera.  You will be the one to make decisions and then you set your camera accordingly.  You are also smarter than your camera.  You are the one with the knowledge and you share your knowledge with your camera by inputting the settings.  Good photographs are seldom created by chance.

So, what you need to do with regard to composition is arrange the elements of a scene within a photo, catch the viewer’s attention, please the eye or make a clear statement – these are all qualities of good composition.  In your scene what is most important.  What do you want the main focus to be?  It is this viewpoint that makes your subject the centre of attention in the frame.  You can’t always keep other objects out of the picture, so try to keep them in the background or make them part of the story that is in your frame.

By developing photographic composition skills, you can produce photos that suggest movement, life, depth and form, recreating the dynamic scene that made you pick up your camera to capture it.

That said, Simplicity is the key to most good pictures. The simpler photo is, the clearer and stronger is the resulting composition.

One good rule is – tell only one story. Ensure there is only enough material in the picture to convey one single idea. Although each picture is composed of numerous small parts and contributing elements, none should attract more of the viewer’s attention than the primary object of the picture. The primary object is the reason the picture is being made in the first place, so don’t distract from the main subject.   Select a viewpoint that eliminates distractions so the principal subject is readily recognized.

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