Simplify!

In Essential Photography Skills and Tips by Dale Sinclair

For the love of something – simplify your photograph.

Cut down on clutter and other debris in the photograph and draw attention to your primary subject. This should be your number one guideline for composing any shot.

About the only reason you would not want to do this, is if you were purposely taking a picture of clutter.

If you were out and taking street photos or candids of your friends and for some reason a dangly purse strap or the tip of a tree branch ended up in your picture – crop it out. If cropping is not an option, there are a multitude of tools in photo editing software that can also help you fix this. I will discuss photo editing at a later time, just know that it is an option.
In my experience, travel photos are the biggest source of distracting clutter. You are usually on the move and wanting to take that quick shot of something you may never see again.

Note the two shots on the left taken from my first trip to Cuba in my earlier years of shooting digital; the first one is the original, the second has been cropped to remove distractions. We are not loosing much by cropping out the person on the left, as it really breaks up the photograph and distracts from the primary subject of street taxis. The fellow on the right can stay in as it gives context to the picture – maybe he is waiting to cross the street or possibly flagging down one of the cabs. Our main focus is now directly on the taxis and not pulled away by the person on the left.

Simplify. And when you return from your next trip people will enjoy seeing your travel photos that much more.