This week I thought we would talk about keeping it simple!
Whether it be gear, framing or post processing I think we all get caught out thinking more is better and that could not be further from the truth, most of the great photographers kept it simple. A lot of them mainly using just one camera and one lens. I watch a serious amount of YouTube videos, ranging from teaching videos to entertainment. The main tip I see from all of these is to just stick to one camera and lens combo. Now if there telling us to do this and history backs that up why do we all have tons of cameras and lenses? I think that the issue is that instead of blaming ourselves for making poor images we blame the gear and then just throw money at more gear thinking that this will improve our photography. This is never the case, if you want to throw money at something throw it at travelling and learning to see with your eyes, or books from the greats and people who inspire you. Don’t just limit these books to photography, philosophy has a big impact on the way you see the world so don’t neglect that either. You will see a much bigger improvement by spending money on learning and seeing more then buying gear, I promise you this.
Framing also is a hard one to get your head around, you and I both start off thinking “how much can we get in the frame?” this is the worst question you can ask yourself, instead ask yourself “How much can I take out the frame?” there are not a lot of photographers who can get a lot of things in the frame at once and stop it from looking cluttered. The majority of the great photographs both past and present use simple framing. If you can question everything in the frame and as if its supposed to be there and every little bit in there is yes then you should be able to convey the meaning or story you want too. This is extremely hard to do and me just telling you this is not going to instantly improve your photography, think again. You are going to have to get up and constantly put this into practice, I struggle with this especially in street photography as so much is happening all the time and the streets can often be very cluttered. Go check out @sixstreetunder he’s one of my favorite street photographers that managers to de-clutter the frame extremely well.
Lastly I think, the third thing we over complicate is post processing. If I look at my photos now and compare them to when I first started the difference is huge, now I keep things simple and don't do too much to the image. Just enhance! If an image is good it shouldn't need too much processing for it to POP. That doesn't mean you can't process a lot and not make it work but its hard to get it right and more often than not hinders the image instead of improving it. Especially when you're just starting out, start off making small adjustments and then move on from there.
So just keep it simple and let the image do the speaking.
Don’t Follow Paths, Create Them!