SEEKING SIMPLICITY IN PHOTOGRAPHY

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Ty Stedman

When I started out in my photography pursuit it was difficult to know where to point my camera. Landscape photography is a hugely broad term and in recent times has become to encompass traditional landscapes, long exposure photography, fine art photography and aerial photography.

With so many ‘genres’ it can be exhausting as you feel compelled to take photos of the immediate world around you, around every corner. Feeling like you should capture every sunset.

I have been relieved to have found my focus in recent years. For the sake of my sanity, and my family’s, it is refreshing to have a focus and direction for my photography. I still, at times, feel compelled to take a photo of an amazing sunset that is before me, even more so when travelling, but it is nice just to enjoy a moment for what it is, a potential memory, rather than being completely focussed on focus, composition, shutter speed, depth of field etc.

A common theme in my photography is one of simplicity. I think that this has evolved through my attention to detail. Taking pause…absorbing, inhaling and experiencing the finer details that initially sub-consciously draw us into a scene.

I seek to achieve this in a number of ways:

  1. Isolating a subject either through a variation in tone, negative space or creating isolation through long exposures;
  2. Searching for interesting a intricate detail in textures;
  3. Searching for shapes, lines and geometry which in themselves;
  4. Seeking vantage points that are often unseen or at least uncommon to create visual interest;
  5. Enhancing tonal relationships to bring order to an image.

Ultimately, I aim to remove unnecessary elements (noise) from a scene to focus only on its essence. I guess this is the origin of my shift away from capturing every moment, every scene and every potential postcard. It is about seeing the unseen, focussing attention and presenting only elements of a scene to your audience. Elements that have a visual power of their own, often far stronger than the scene as a whole.