Keep It Simple – Easy Composition for Photography

Do you ever try to capture too much in your photographs and not keep it simple?

Keeping it simple is harder than it seems. The camera captures everything, while we see things selectively. When you look at your photo, how many times did you say to yourself: I did not see that when I took this picture?

Reflection of my images

Recently I started to look at my own photographs and realized that I am guilty of the same. Though nice, a lot of my photos seem to be cluttered. The eye bounces around in the photos with nothing to hold it where it needs to be. Or it’s nice, but there are distracting things in the background that I did not see when I took the photo. Like light poles at car shows, that seem to grow out of the cars and the like.

How it works

I often tried to show too much in my photos. Sometimes to show the ‘complete image’, sometimes unintended as I said above. The truth is, that you can show too much in your image. And less is often more.

Pick your subject

The simplest way to combat this is to pick your subject in the scene. What is your main focus?

Frame your shot

Once you decided what you want to show in your picture, try to find a viewpoint with the least amount of background distractions as possible. Indoors it can be as simple as picking up right behind what you want to photograph. That doesn’t mean that your house has to be spotless. Just remove anything that does not have something to do with your photo and that you don’t want to show.


Another way to simplify an image is to photograph details vs the entire scene. Think of a vacation spot, for instance a beach. Let’s say you want to show where you have been and why it has been so special. If you just take a picture of the entire scene, you most likely get a lot of other people in the photo that you did not want to show. The other sunbathers that are there are not very likely why it was so special to you – right?

But what about that beautiful umbrella, that you saw? The footprints in the sand? Some seashells, or driftwood? If you just take photos of that you will have a more powerful image.

Your Turn

Now it’s your turn: What did you want to show in your photos and what did you end up showing instead? What are your wins? Comment below.

Say something good!

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