Article in Amateur Photographer supplement 29th March 2014

I have a short article in the AP supplement of 29 March 2014, based on the image SC01, Lone Tree, Loch Etive. Title: ‘Keep it Simple’

Keep it Simple

What makes an image so striking that it holds our attention and embeds itself in our memory? There can be many reasons: raw emotional impact (Salgado) and supreme technical qualities in monochrome (Ansel Adams) are but two examples.

Few of us can aspire to these levels of achievement, but we can all take our image-making to the next level; one way is compositional simplicity – it never fails whatever the genre.

For example, in landscape photography take time to study the features before you. Pre-visualise the final result by deciding on the essential element(s) in the scene. Walk about – a few metres can change the view dramatically. Use a zoom lens to alter the framing. Lower (or raise) the camera to add impact. Try portrait format. Wait for the light!

For this ‘simple’ image I waited for the setting sun to go behind the hill on the right, knowing the sky would be filled with gorgeous colours to set off the single tree. Camera height and zoom framing were critical to position the tree relative to the water and hills. I used a tripod for stability, and a geared head for compositional accuracy.