Tip #40: Simplicity

The Simple Life - Kelly Farm, Minnesota
Canon 50D + Canon 17-40L

The following photo-tip builds on a prior discussion about photography and the art of extraction.
Our capacity to experience the essence of a place, stretch the landscape, or focus on subtle details can be attributed to the computational complexities of the human brain. Well adapted to a world of bright lights and deep shadows, our visual cortex is the largest system within the cerebral hemisphere. Like our ancestral primates, whose evolution relied on careful navigation throughout the narrow branches of a tropical canopy, visual acuity is the difference maker. A misperception of distance or branch location is the difference between finding food or being food. We, the giant and most populous primate on earth, are sensory mongers. Like the iconic astronomical arrays that dot the New Mexican landscape, we are satellites for auditory, visual and olfactory inputs. Collectors and interpreters of stimuli, the brain is our filter. 
Morning Layers - Tamarack Nature Center, Minnesota
Canon 7D + Canon 300mm f2.8IS L

You, the photographer, must learn to be a filter. With inputs emanating from all directions, the photographic artist needs to decide what to exclude. A cluttered image littered with too many subjects or random movements will distract your viewer from the intent of your vision. Photography is a deliberate process in which the image maker contrives the intent by defining what to subtract from the observer’s field of view. Here in lies the art of photography ...we seek to simplify the infinite complexities in the visual landscape.
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