Its taken me a while, but finally, I have realised a key fundamental of photographic composition. Less is more. It sounds really simple but when you are in the middle of an exciting event or somewhere with lots of inspiration, its easy to get too excited and shoot and shoot and not really think about it. At the course I did with Mike Langford a couple of weeks ago, he had a checklist to work through before you go out with your camera. The first thing on it was “engage your brain”. At the time I dismissed it, but I have come to the realisation that he is right, but for me it starts long before then.
As I drive about the place I see things and mentally bookmark them to come back and photograph. A lot I forget but some things are there long enough to give me time to come back, and the bluebells this spring flowered for about a couple of weeks. I drive past the park they are in now twice a day on my way to and from work, and I started thinking about shooting them. There was a particular shot I wanted (of the sun streaming through the trees) that never happened, but I got quite nice light one particular day and got some shots I quite like.
But if you compare them you can see clearly that less is more….
The middle shot was later cropped and edited and printed and put in an exhibition recently. Cropping certainly makes it simpler.
The bottom image from the above three seems messy in comparison but I wanted a nice wide idea of the scope of the flowers as they covered the whole park. The other shot I had was particularly structured to have a key foreground focal point but the background is a bit more distracting in comparison to the one with the tree trunks in the background.
I shall work towards a more simplistic and stronger composition, particularly in landscapes. It will be an interesting challenge!