Saturday, September 13, 2014

Less is More

Less is more is one of the mantras of photography. The idea is to de-clutter and pare down your images until you have as few distractions as possible from the message you are trying to convey.

I generally subscribe to this rule, but the other day I accidentally discovered that the opposite (i.e., more is more) can also be true.

One nagging little thought that had constantly been in the background as I filmed the hummingbirds was the idea that the photos were nicely framed on one side by the feeder, but the other drops off into empty space. Not that I can find anything particularly wrong with that beyond the fact that it was slightly unsettling.

I wanted to give the hummingbirds a chance to check out the new Mandevilla flower I had purchased while at the same time having it close enough to the feeder to not have to spend too much time refocusing on the birds. Even though it is only a split second, that is a lifetime in hummingbird time. There have been numerous occasions when I have had a hummingbird in my sights only to end up having a picture with nothing in it by the time I pressed the shutter. So, I put the hanging plant close to the feeder.

After getting repositioned and everything was in readiness, I realized I had hung the plant a little too close to the feeder. It was visible in the pictures when a hummingbird was on the left side of the feeder. I discovered, however, that it didn't detract from the photos but actually added to the images.

It did at least two things immediately. It added a splash of color. Red and green usually look wonderful together since they are complementary colors. And, the hanging basket created a nice closed frame on the opposite side producing an atmosphere of intimacy in the photographs. That was something I didn't even realize I needed until I saw it.

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