Mastering the Art of Keeping It Simple in Photography

Something Thomas Heaton does a lot of us taking incredible and breathtaking landscape photos. Something he doesn't do a lot is show the full creation of a photo from conceptualization to presentation, including post processing. The real story here, though, is the desire to stay close to home and try to create art out of the "normal" and "familiar." What do you do when presented with nothing truly remarkable at first glance?

One of the best things you can do as a photographer is to push yourself to always be creating. It's easy to want to shoot when you plan a trip or put yourself into exciting and beautiful situations, but the best way to stay sharp and become more creative is to work with the mundane. In this video, Heaton goes out to the beach near his home at sunrise to start of his day with some photographic exercise, where he is greeted with what would at first-glance appear to be a picture-perfect morning at the beach.

...but unfortunately I'm not entirely convinced it's gonna be that great for nice photography. I think the skies are a little bit too clear... I think looking at it there's not a great deal going on in the sky. There's not a great deal going on at the beach, so it's actually going to be quite challenging to get a nice photography. I was hoping to find some driftwood, but unfortunately I can't find anything of any interest on the beach at all. So I guess I'm going to be working with the sand, the waves, and the sky.

These are the problems we encounter as we mature in the world of photography; when we're not satisfied by doing the basic bare minimums or the same thing done by every other person on their first day with a camera. It's funny that most of us tend to start out our journey with simple compositions, making them more and more complex as our skills grow, only to eventually realize the true power in simplicity and we go back to our minimalist roots, albeit with a totally different vision.

While Heaton's post processing is extremely minimal and basic for this shot, it's still refreshing to just sit back and listen to his thought process along the way.

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2 Comments

Simplicity...

That was a great watch thank you. Being a landscape photographer myself it's always nice to take 5 minutes out of my day and watch how someone else does things. Working with the mundane is something I religiously do, no matter where I rock up and what the conditions are there are always beautiful landscapes to be taken. I see far too many photographers chasing that perfect light and spending 90% of their lives in utter misery, shame for them. And then I have seen those that chase perfect light all the time capture it all the time and then 7 years into their career they say something on Facebook like "I'm so sick of sunsets". People must just learn to love photography no matter what is thrown at you.