Dealing with too many of something

October 03, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

The art of photography is to create some form of order, flow, and balance. We do so by choosing carefully what to include in, and what to eliminate from the frame. We spend a lot of time composing the image. We move around to change the relative perspective and position between elements in the scene. But what do you do when you arrive at a scene and there is just too much? Sometimes eliminating things become challenging because of the sheer number of objects. Creating order, flow, and balance seems impossible.

There are just too many of these Chollas in this Cholla garden to play with. They extend for some distance in any direction. How do we deal with a scene such as this when there are just too many Chollas? This is really a problem and it is not easy to deal with the chaos of a sea full of plants. It took a long time to nail my compositions down. Here is how I approached the scene:

  1. I spent quite some time just walking around (pre-dawn). I looked for places where the density of the plants is less. I tried to find natural paths that can be used as a lead-in line or even plants that can form a chain leading to the sun.

  2. I gravitated towards taller Chollas to either photograph the sun through one of them or as in the picture above I tried to find two taller ones that can act as a frame on either end of the frame.

  3. Placing two anchor points on either end of the frame acts as a border and helps the viewer not to stray further to the left or right.

  4. I deliberately framed the image in such a way as to do my best not to have a brightly lit Cholla cut on the edge of the frame.

  5. I did manage to find some sort of "path" due to the shadows and sun-lit parts on the ground.

  6. I arrived early, quite sometime before sunrise because finding a composition at a scene where there is just too much of something takes time.


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