Old Failthful, Yellowstone National Park Wyoming (WY), USA

Seven Ways to Create Simpler Photos

Why should we create simpler photos?

Simpler images have a great place in photography. They hang so well on our walls!  When considering a picture to hang, would you prefer something that harmonizes well with the décor and doesn’t create discomfort? Of course you would!  Simpler photos are perfect for this.

Creating Simpler Pictures

A lifeguard in Nicaragua is coming back home after a long day at work.

Seven ways to create simpler photos

Creating a simpler photos usually start with composition.  The fewer the distractions and the number of elements, the better off you are.  Beside composition, you could consider the following:

  • Use a wide aperture (small number) to isolate your subject from the foreground and the background
  • Find a scene with a lower level of details in the surrounding elements. A repeating pattern could work well
  • Avoid high contrast scenes; high contrast draws the viewer’s attention
White Sands National Park, New Mexico (NM), USA

Low Contrast Scene – White Sands National Monument

  • Do not worry about negative space. Crop large when the scene allows for it
  • Leverage specialty lenses if you have them. Lomography, Lensbaby, Tilt-shift lenses are perfect to simplify a picture
Old Failthful, Yellowstone National Park Wyoming (WY), USA

Created with Lens Baby – Yellowstone National Park

  • Try converting to black and white; this may help reduce distractions
  • Use post-processing techniques to further reduce contrast and distractions.

As a side benefit, simpler picture usually get more shares, likes, and favs. Although some punchy pictures might attract more attention initially, when we share or like a picture we understand that our followers takes notes of our preferences. Most of us like to project a peaceful image of ourselves.

A few words about this simple photos

Back in 2011, I was on vacation in Nicaragua. During the vacation, I talked with a local family that was selling tourist souvenirs. Through that conversation, I learned how difficult the life of Nicas were. Most are working six days a week for long hours and earn very little from their labor. I was concerned about this when I went out that same evening with my Canon 5D Mark II and my Lensbaby Composer to shoot some pictures. On the empty beach while the sun was setting, I saw this lifeguard coming from the other end of the beach.  Although it’s a good simple picture, the photo above reminds me that some Nicas work far harder than me and get so little in return. This is one reason I am so fond of this picture.

Now it’s your turn. Do you try to simplify your pictures by using any of these tips?

About Author Denis Grenier

I really love being outdoor hiking and taking pictures. I care about our planet and would like my picture to help influence others to take care of it. My passion in photography is showing its beauty to the largest audience possible.


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