Sunday, May 3, 2015

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

I should be out in the yard working today but instead I'm working through some photos I took over a month ago.  I'll get out soon, but I want to share these two photos.

Both photos were taken at Anna Ruby Falls in North Georgia.  They were taken a few minutes apart on the same day.  Here's the first one.

Anna Ruby Falls

This is the classic shot taken at a wide 17mm focal length.  If you Google Anna Ruby Falls you will find dozens of very similar photos of the falls.   I took this to show that Anna Ruby Falls is actually twin waterfalls created by two separate streams- Curtis Creek and York Creek.  It was a bright sunny day, and I had to take three shots at different exposures and combine them using HDR software to balance out the super bright and very dark areas.

I really don't care for this photo.  There are too many rocks, logs and other stuff within the frame.  Too much to look is a distraction and doesn't give the viewer a single place to look.  When I look at it,  my eyes wander around the photo looking at everything but not focusing on any one thing.  It's not a pleasing photo.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. ~Leonardo da Vinci
Here's the second photo taken from almost the same spot.  This time I shot at 200mm allowing me to zoom in and isolate down to a small tree and a section of the falls behind it.  Because I didn't have to worry about the dark areas, I was able to expose on the dark side, keeping the bright spots of the waterfall from being too bright and losing all detail in the water. The light on that morning was bright and harsh, but on that section of the falls it was beautiful.  I also slowed the shutter speed down to 1/4 second, giving the water a nice silky blurred look.

This second photo is much simpler, and in my opinion, more pleasing to look at.  The tree in front of the falls gives the photo a feeling of depth that it wouldn't have if it was just the falls.  There are only two things in this photo - the tree and the falls.

Simplification in my photography is something I want to keep working on.  It's also called minimalist photography.  Here's a good article that explains that better.  Give it a try and see if your photos aren't better.

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