Hi All, On my recent trip to Patagonia, a member of the trip told me he tends to try to 'get it all in'. We were standing on a little bridge over to a small island in Lago Pehoe at the time.
What I recall about this little discussion was that I thought we had both 'seen' the same thing. I took my shot and then went over to see what he was doing, only to find out that he was trying to get the lake, the mountains and the hotel, situated on the small island into the shot. I showed him what I had composed (see below), and his comment was 'you go for very simple compositions'. It was a concise point. He was concise with his words, whereas I tend to be quite verbose. But in terms of picture composition, he was pretty verbose while I was concise.
I think the strength of an image lies many times in what we exclude from it. Putting more things into a scene can often dilute the strength of the message. Keeping it simple is key.
With the image in question, what I was grabbed by was the sweeping curve in the dark sand in the foreground. I'm a sucker for composing landscape shots in portrait mode. I'm convinced this is because of how I actually interpret scenes, but also, because the 6x7 aspect ratio lends to this. I tried to compose the same shot using a 5DII while I was there and it simple didn't work. Too much height - too much sky and too much forground. I find 35mm aspect ratio of 3:2 not conducive to how I think about objects and place them within the frame. But that's just me.
Focus and isolating down to the barest components of a scene is the way forward to making a strong image. When looking at a scene next time, try to think about what it is you are actually drawn to, and whether everything in there actually needs to be there. Remove items and reduce. Isolate and improve impact.