With Information, Sometimes More is More (Day 10 of 31)
There’s an enormous sense of satisfaction that comes from being able to take the photo you want—not having to rely on stock photos or on other people’s work.
Much of the mental work required to take these photos lies in becoming a better editor. You learn to edit the objects included; edit the edges of the frame; edit the finished photos. Strip out and pare down. Such restrictions are effective and useful, and they make a streamlined and elegant photo possible.
But of course we’re not always trying to highlight one or two chosen objects. On photographer Eric Kim’s blog there is a great post called Ten Lessons Lee Friedlander Has Taught Me About Street Photography. I like a lot of Eric’s insights but the one I want to draw attention to is number 4: “Incorporate more content into your photos.” With more information your photos can become more interesting and visually complex. They hold the viewer’s attention for a longer time.
When the purpose of a photo is to document a situation, consider whether you want to eliminate details or pile them on by the truckload. If you’re capturing what a particular time and place contains, more information may be just what you want. In those cases, a wide-angle lens works well. Don’t zoom in or edit out; try instead to cram in details, edges, signs, labels, architecture, overhead wires, random occurrences, and stray animals darting across the path. It won’t be as peaceful a shot, but it will be one that’s filled with information.
(For the month of October 2017, I’m participating in the 31 Days bloggers’ challenge. You can find out about it here, and check out the interesting work other bloggers are posting.)