see something simple

Our modern cameras are incredibly complex and the techniques involved in capturing a photograph can be hard to grasp for the novice – this only becomes more so the more we read the Dos and Don’ts of photography from myriad experts. In amongst it all is the importance of simplicity in photography.

At the heart of photography is the idea that you are conveying a message to your viewers.

At first my understanding of simplicity in photography was to equate it with minimalism. But it is both this and much more. At the heart of it all is the message but it is a good start to begin with simple landscapes/scenes

Perhaps the message here with this Dutch tilt and abseiling window cleaners is ‘vertigo’
Growing at the top of Matlock’s ‘Heights of Abraham’ -something akin to Blake’s Auguries of Innocence’

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower 
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand 
And Eternity in an hour


‘hanging by a thread’ but only an existentialist would read that!

At first glance these are just simple reflections but what caught my eye are the patterns in the individual panes
Even in a complex image, the message can stand out – ‘For whom the bell tolls’ -underscored by the houses all around
Decay by time
Dereliction perhaps but also the suggestion that blue paint is running down to colour the sea
‘How green is my valley’ – that ‘hill’ is an old mining slag heap

Here’s what I’ve gleaned about the importance of Simplicity in Photography @ photographylife.com

  • Keep it simple to start with – but look for impact
  • Backgrounds are important show off the point of the photo
  • Exclude what does not contribute to the overall message/effect
  • even complex image are constructed with simplicity as the backbone
With thanks to Patti for providing the theme to this week's Lens Artists Photo Challenge

19 Comments on “see something simple

  1. This is such a beautiful post Laura and your images do a wonderful job of demonstrating the power of simplicity in a well composed shot. I absolutely loved your thought of the blue running down to paint the sea. Extraordinary.

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    • many thanks Tina – I had not thought much about the message in a photo before now and so it has given me something to focus on in the future – glad you like the blue sea ‘message’ – it’s just how I see it!

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  2. “even complex image are constructed with simplicity as the backbone” – something I need to remind myself of, good point!
    Love ‘hanging by a thread’ – my kind of picture plus seeing it immediately brought that thought to mind.

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  3. A very beautiful simplicity collection, Laura. I love the reflections in B&W especially. Thank you for the tips for photography.

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    • Thank you – this was a chance to see what if any of my photos fitted the prompt and more importantly why. Glad you learned something too Amy

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  4. Excellent. I have to chime in with the blue paint and the sea. Beautiful choices both words and images. Of course I have to love the choice of Blake…

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