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Simplicity in Design

by Gary Bernstein


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Summary : I am a believer that there are no rules when it comes to photography. Yet, there is no question that certain images create impact while others create yawns.

I am a believer that there are no rules when it comes to photography. Yet, there is no question that certain images create impact while others create yawns. Certain images are loved by the subjects we photograph, and others rapidly make their way to the circular file. So I'll try to give you my take on what I believe makes for a successful and exciting photograph. Simplicity is often the key i.e. less is more.

Image Number 1 was made on the desert with the simplest (and most original) of all single light sources-direct sunlight. This photograph was not staged. It's real. The soldiers in Aruba were on maneuvers, just as my model and I came up over a ridge in our Jeep. I had one frame left in my camera (one of the hazards of the film days). I asked the beauty sitting next to me "get over there and lay down-quick." The soldier came over without having to be asked (even though I didn't speak the language…not surprising :). I hit the shutter just as his boot was about to hit the ground. In this case timing was critical and probably a bit lucky, but I'd rather be lucky than good as Chick Hearn used to say.

There are all sorts of "traditional rules" that are broken in this photograph. 1-the subjects are in the center of the frame; but it seems to work in this image. 2-it was shot in midday sunlight; but here it gives dramatic contrast to the shot. 3-I didn't crop in around the subjects; but to crop in would have lost the grandeur and majestic expanse of the background. So always let your eye and heart be your guide.

The image was made with a 35mm camera on Kodachrome with a standard lens.

Photo 1.
simplicity in design

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