I recently had the pleasure of attending a full-day photo workshop offered by Tony Sweet. If you haven’t checked out Tony’s work, you should!
My big takeaway was simplicity. People who view photos want to know immediately what the photo is about. If they can’t name it in a word or phrase, the photographer hasn’t done his or her job.
I kept that in mind during a recent trip to the Corning Museum of Glass in NY state, where you can take non-flash photos. The result is the shot you see here – an exercise in simplicity for sure. One bowl, five circles. It helped that the museum lighting was exceptional.
As I toured the museum, I noticed how the curators had also embraced simplicity. By allowing enough room around art so people could circulate, pause, and observe, they isolated the beauty of objects, making it much easier to hear the voice of the artist.
Simplicity in photography, as explained by Tony, involves removing distractions, keeping items distinct (not touching), and creating the image you see in your mind. There are many ways to achieve this, but keeping these concepts in mind while taking photos both strengthens my work and gives me a new eye with which to view the world.
What do you think? Do you agree that simplicity is a great way to convey mood and message, or do you prefer to figure out meaning on your own?