Arriving at a location, especially for the first time, can be a visually overwhelming experience. The natural world is complex and it is often difficult to make sense of what seems to be random arrangements of rocks, plants and other terrain features. Without some conscious attempt to filter out extraneous detail, the resulting photograph is likely to contain so much information that it shows everything while communicating little in the way of a distinctive message: the thing that makes a particular take on a landscape personal to you.
When searching for those key elements, it is better to identify one principal subject and then decide whether nearby landscape features complement or detract from it. Then study the main subject in relation to the middle distance and horizon, can they be linked in some way? Or, if items that lie beyond are distracting, can they be cropped out, or hidden behind larger elements? If something is in doubt, better to leave it out.
While it is easy to agree with the theory that less can indeed be more, at what point does a streamlined composition become so minimal that it ceases to be visually exciting? The search for simplicity is a process that strives to find the middle ground between saying too much and saying nothing at all... [vision_notification style="tip" font_size="20px"]Read the whole article inside issue 69.[/vision_notification]