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Learning composition: simplify, simplify, simplify

What’s really important is to simplify. The work of most photographers would be improved immensely if they could do one thing: get rid of the extraneous. If you strive for simplicity, you are more likely to reach the viewer.William Albert Allard, National Geographic

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.
Albert Einstein, Smart Guy

Like a cluttered room in a house or an overstuffed closet, a photo with too much random stuff can make it difficult for a viewer to find the subject. How many times have you taken a photograph of something only to have something else completely unrelated (and unwanted) in the frame like a car or a telephone pole? This isn’t to say that all photos should be minimalist affairs with a single subject and a plain background ala Apple Macintosh ads. But you should strive to only include elements in a photo that add something to it rather than serve as distractions. One way to do this is to simplify your compositions.

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Photo contest rules update

It’s been brought up that the one-entry per person rule should be strictly followed since it would be unfair to people who follow the rules to the letter. So, rather than remove photos from the photo pool, go back and tag your contest entry with the tag: PhotodotoContest1. Only entries with this tag will be considered for the contest. You can add as many photos as you like to the pool, but only tag one for the contest (so make it your best one).

Tuesday morning grab bag

Stephen Wiltshire, The Human Camera. View a short excerpt from the film Beautiful Minds: A Voyage into the Brain that shows autistic savant Wiltshire draw a huge panorama of Rome, from memory, after a single helicopter flight over the city.

Pez dispenser hot shoe attachment. An ingenious hot shoe attachment that’s a perfect accessory for taking pictures of children. [via exposure]

The Saddest Thing I Own. Photographs and stories sent in by people centered around the saddest object they own.

Abstract photography: something a little different

Many of you probably bought a camera with the intention of documenting something. Documenting the world around us is common among photographers—and wonderful! please keep it up!—whether it is a beautiful landscape, a family portrait, or a hectic street scene. But there’s another kind of photography full of blurry lines, swirling colors, and indefinite forms that I encourage everyone to try your hand at.

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