Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #43–Less is More

“A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” 

– Antoine de Saint-Exupery

A few years ago, I took a photography lesson. My instructor stressed how important it is to focus on one or two elements in our photos. She would make some brutal crops of my images to illustrate. I recall one day, she cropped almost everything out of my bird image and left only part of a wing. Needless to say, there was nothing left to take away from that bird photo.

As an example, here is an image of tree vines hanging on a wall. After some cleaning up through Photoshop, I can see the shape of the lines of the vines a little better:

Though I haven’t been able to achieve “when there is nothing left to take away” and often wonder “extreme spareness and simplicity” (Merriam Webster), I think the photography lesson taught me the importance of focusing on a subject. Below is a simple, unique, old fashioned door lock.

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”   – Leonardo da Vinci


“Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful.”   –John Maeda

“Life is really simple but we insist on making it complicated.” ~ Confucius

While practicing the concept of “less is more” for photography, I am also applying it to simplify my life style. That way I can have more time and energy to enjoy traveling and taking photos. 🙂

“If you want to fly, give up everything that weighs you down.”

Borrowing the quote from Cee’s Pick Me Up (April 24, 2019) 

This week, I am hosting L-A Photo Challenge. I hope you’ll join me and share what “less is more” means to you. Looking forward to reading your interpretation, e.g. how you focus on a subject when you take a photo of a landscape, building, person, or your pet, and perhaps how you simplify your life style. Make a link (ping back) here and remember to tag your post Lens Artists so followers/ readers can find you.

Thanks to Ann-Christine Creativity theme. It was fun to share the creativity around us via our lens. Have you seen these:

Forestwood’s Rosemaling Amanda, welcome to Lens Artists Photo Challenge!

Ana’s Lilly, my creative fairy

Sandy’s Leaf Artistry 

If you are new to Lens Artists Photo Challenge, click here for more information.

***Stay tuned for Tina’s Lens Artists Photo Challenge next week!

188 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #43–Less is More

  1. I have to learn from the great quote above, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” as I always try to fill the frame with too many things…

    This series is quite interesting not just for the images, but the way you have presented the virtues of simplicity through the quotes and notes.

    Thank you so much for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

    • Your photos always tell stories. I can’t help to believe that you have an awesome focus on the subject when you photograph, like the street vendor working on the flour facing the sun and many more, the woman walked slowly uphill with others….
      Thank you for your compliment, Sreejith!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Amy, I could not agree more about simplicity. For a long time now, I have focused on that exact principal in my photography. I don’t like busy. I like neat lines. I like the main focus to be clear with just a little bit to enhance that focal point. Every frame I focus on the background and how it relates to the subject I am photographing. My eyes are always scanning looking for simplicity, Beauty, and a way to convey unique images like you have here. Beautiful post! And I LOVE your header picture as well. Great job!! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

    Liked by 5 people

  3. A wonderful theme, Amy! Great examples and a challenge to really work with. Love the quotes as well – but I guess I will never reach the point where there is “nothing to take away”…

    Liked by 3 people

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  8. A wonderful theme and a beautiful concept, Amy. It’s hard to reach a stage where there’s nothing more to take away from the picture while still making it feel whole. Less might be more, but it’s not simple. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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  11. I enjoyed your take on less is more – and I do wonder at times too – because sometimes more is quite nice – hahah

    but I love each photo here and the blue in that lock on the old fence has such a mood – the patina and reminder of old (simpler) days gone by.
    Going to work on my post now

    Liked by 3 people

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    • I agree, it depends on the location and the atmosphere. It’s a good practice when you find a right location, I’ll remember that. 🙂
      Thank you so much, Debbie for your entry. 🙂


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  24. I really enjoyed what you had to say about simplifying the focus to create a more distinctive photograph. Your examples are really nice, Amy, and I especially like the one with the old fashioned door lock. Such an ordinary object turned work of art! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

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  31. Leya and I had a day out and she talked about your photo challenge … but she didn’t tell me where to find it. Here I’m and I’m going to jump in now. Straight away. Amy, you have a fantastic gallery here. You and your camera is a great team.

    Liked by 2 people

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