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Less is more

Less is more (May 09)

One of the first questions I ask of guests attending a PhotoTrek workshop is “Tell me what you would take a picture of?” Now, invariably, we are in the New Forest looking onto a heath with trees, perhaps a stream, a few ponies maybe, and usually the replies come back trying to include all the elements in front of us. The guests then add more and more facets into their description of the picture they wish to take, to the extent that the impact of the beautiful scene in front of them is lost. Most people have followed this same practice at some point, collected their prints or viewed the images on the computer later, and then been bitterly disappointed. My advice is to pre visualise the image before lifting the camera to your eye. Think about what you want to include. It may be that your picture will tell the story better, if you take a number of different images. In the example given above, this may mean perhaps a picture of a portion of the heath, its changing textures, the grasses growing through the heather; perhaps just the trees, a lone tree maybe, the late evening light catching the leaves of a big pine; the tumbling stream by itself burbling over a few large stones or the verdant green leaves around; the ponies in situ, taken close up as a portrait. Maybe this would portray the essence of the scene far better than trying to include everything in just the one shot. What you leave out of your image can be just as important as what you put in. Remember, less can be more!
Keep practicing – I am.

Ian Badley