Wednesday, October 11, 2006

ku # 413

Simplify, simplify, the advice so often given as bible to photographers-in-gestation, seems to imply that most observers of photographic prints are inherently, well, simple-minded - that in order for a photograph to be understood and applauded, the photographer must pander to the lowest common visual denominator using only the easiest to read "words" in the visual vocabulary (most commonly refered to as the "rules").

Ignoring the rules - in this case, "simply" - often leads to the criticism that a photographer is ignoring the rule "just to be different" for attention-getting sake. Complexity, of the denoted and connoted kind, is apparently too much to be endured.


Anonymous Michelle Parent said...

I think that people don't like the inherent "messiness" of nature, so they say to "simplify" your composition when they really mean to neaten up the messiness that they don't really want to see. This doesn't necessarily apply to nature photography either. They don't want to see the "messiness" of other parts of the world either, unless it is "documentary photography". So, to me, when people say to "simplify" the composition, they are reacting to something "messy" or "chaotic" or "dark" they don't like in what they are seeing. That's how it comes across to me, anyway and that is exactly what I like about this photo is the chaotic swirling of the branches and the deep dark shadows and still water underneath.

10/11/2006 09:03:00 PM  
Blogger scotth said...

I would argure that this photograph is an example of simplification. I see very little sky, and realtively little water. I do not see whatever is to the left and right of the frame. Is this because the photographer did not feel the additional elements would contribute to the composition, and removed them.

10/13/2006 11:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Simple things for Simple People.....

10/13/2006 02:30:00 PM  

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