Simple themes in Siouxland

21 Jul

When I teach some of my photo courses at the local community college I tell students that at times, most times really, it is better to keep things simple than trying to be too complex. I “give assignments” to those taking my classes so they can concentrate on executing some simple tasks, like making photographs with leading lines or color or using thirds. I tell them that most photographs have a number of intersecting compositional techniques. But the most important thing is to make your subject matter, no difference what it is, the dominant element in your photograph so that whatever compositional technique is utilized, the viewer knows what they should be seeing or getting their attention. Less is more, or the more adroit saying, KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid) which is probably not politically correct anymore.

Too many times I see a good photograph, or the possibility of one, but there are too many competing elements within the frame, so the viewer is not quite certain where their attention should be focused. That is where the dominant element should always come into play.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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