Writes Nick Melidonis, "Simplicity is seeing a composition and paring it down to its basic elements – the elements that are absolutely necessary to tell the story and for the viewer to understand the photographer’s intent and appreciate it. But no more. Simplicity is one of the most important guidelines in producing a strong composition.
"Simplicity, however, should not be mistaken for simplistic. Simplistic refers to the use of basic or rudimentary techniques or subject matter in the image. It’s often seen when photographers first start out and are content to photograph what interests them, but they have yet to develop the creative skills to formulate a powerful composition in saying it. Their images are often very busy with a lot of unnecessary detail that makes it difficult for a viewer to comprehend their intent in taking the image.
"Further, when they are processing the image, they don’t have sufficient knowledge and skills of the software they are using, usually Lightroom or Photoshop, to create a powerful image.
"There is an art to deciding how much is enough in an image so the story and intent is there, but no more. In fact, Einstein was attributed to saying, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” Often this skill needs to be applied very quickly when shooting action, wildlife, changing light and expressions on faces. Simplicity is a key compositional element that beginners must take into account. Capturing messy, chaotic images is easy, but producing carefully constructed, minimalistic shots is much harder."
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