It seems that good photos have just the right amount of content—not too busy, not too sparse. One famous quote from National Geographic photographer Jim Richardson, advises, “If you want to be a better photographer, stand in front of more interesting stuff.” And if you happen to be standing in front of some interesting stuff, there is always the question of how much to include in the frame.
American photographer Lee Friedlander, famous for his pioneering photos of the urban social landscape, has a talent for filling his photos with visual content without making them seem overly crowded. Eric Kim (whom I also cited last week) writes on his blog, ”Friedlander was very conscious of how he framed his scenes, and wanted to add more complexity to his shots through adding content of interest.”
Lee Friedlander accomplished this by using a wide-angle lens—usually a 35mm. That way objects in the foreground can remain in focus along with background elements. Though complexity is not always the answer, it certainly adds interest.
Photo tip: If you have a wide-angle lens, try shooting with only that lens for a week or two. Make note of how this perspective changes the content in your photos.