The images directly below, pay homage to my earlier days on the internet, when I used to create very primitive posters for my first website, as well as sites that belonged to others.
Less is More
The phrase above is one that I have used countless times in relationship to photography. Clean, simple images tend to be more powerful than complex pictures. If the viewer of an image has to wander around within the picture frame, in an effort to understand what they are looking at, they will likely move on to another one. Complex images can work, but are at their best, when there is a sense of order within the four corners of the picture frame. Most viewers of pictures, are not interested in turning the viewing of an image into work. Also, for the photographer him/herself, too much effort into composing an image, notice I said “too much”, can eventually have them just wanting to click the shutter and get it over with.
In life outside of photography, if your boss was never able to show you how to simplify your job, you will either figure out your own simplifications, or quit, or be fired. Another example of less is more, is a glass of wine or a bottle of beer may be great, but 20 will turn you into a word slurring, fallen down drunk. You may think that 20 was better than one when you drank them, but the next morning, you will discover that more of something, can be sickening. The truisms of photography, often show themselves throughout life.
This great image by Luccah Photography was created in France and is an example of having a busy image that is still simple and elegant. Our eye travels effortlessly to that rustic old cabin, despite the fact that all those lines dominate the picture space. I really like this picture and I do think it shows how an image that is “busy with lines”, can still be fairly simple when there is something to rest our eyes on, and when the lines tend to all travel in the same direction. In other words, it is complex, but it has a sense of order.
I am beginning to see a lot of pictures like this. That tells me that those images are altered through software editing. I do have to admit, that while I think the modern photographer is talented, they do tend to copy an awful lot. Of course I imagine many photographers play with a technique like this for a while, and then move on. Either way, I enjoy this style when it is done well.
Memories From the Field Part Four
I was in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in October of 2004. I had several great days of autumn landscape and macro photography when the urge to capture a sunrise overtook me. I spent the night in Copper Harbor at the farthest point north (into Lake Superior) you can possibly get. As I ate my Pizza in a local bar (no restaurants open), I both dreaded and cherished how early I would have to arise the next morning, to get to the top of nearby Brockington Mountain, and set up for my sunrise to the northeast, and the full moon to the west and south. From the parking lot (I had been there before), you can stand within 50 feet of shooting in either direction.
I drove my car through the early morning darkness to the top of this pretty “little mountain”, and parked, and began to set up equipment. In 2004, I still made film pictures along with digital, and I decided to set up one tripod with a film camera and my 500mm lens (my 300mm in my vest pocket) facing towards the moon set, and a digital body with a 70-300mm zoom, (several short lenses in my vest) pointed towards what may or may not be a sunrise.
The weather forecast had stated a cloudy start to the day, which also had the potential to ruin my moon set, with clearing about thirty minutes after sunrise. Weather forecasters have been known to be wrong, and heavy clouds that might break just before sunrise, was just what I was searching for. While the sky began lighten ever so slightly, I spotted two pairs of headlights racing at breakneck speed up the twisting road from the west. Just as I began to fiddle with my cameras in anticipation and hope that the clouds would break, both cars screeched into the parking lot and came to a stop. Were they local kids racing up the mountain? Would they leave me alone or would I have trouble? I had a lot of money tied up in those cameras that setting atop tripods in the open. Eight doors (both cars) flung open violently, and what seemed like hundreds ( probably ten) of people jumped out. They began running around feverously looking down the mountain in every direction. Who were they? Then they began opening up the car trunks, and removing an enormous assortment of tripods and other camera gear. They were Japanese tourists, driving to the top of the mountain, to photograph the sunrise and the moon set.
I smiled and said hello and received a similar reply. They and I, went about the business of making pictures. The sun won the battle with the clouds at the perfect moment. As the clouds lifted they lit up like a firestorm. Those colors (and textures) reflected in the small lake that lived at the bottom of the mountain. Perfect. I only got one clear shot of the moon set and the image sits idly somewhere deep in my film files. I never got to speak with the tourists, as they were clearly absent the English language just as I was Japanese. They did however start (slowly) down the mountain, in what appeared to be a much more relaxed and victorious mood than they were in on the way up. Sometimes in the mountains, even little ones, the trip back down is wonderful.
Thank you for reading this blog and may God Bless, Wayne