Less Is More
Working in technology I have always heard the phrase Less is More, it referred to two commands to read files in Unix systems. Less gives you much more flexibility than more, oddly enough. With art is used to describe a minimalistic approach in design. Typically leaving just the key elements in the painting or design.
Last week, I had the pleasure of attending a workshop with the world famous photographer and instructor Serge Ramelli. Over the course of the 4 full days with Serge, we covered several topics, as you would expect. The class including shooting on location, tips, and tricks for post-processing in Lightroom and others (more on that in another post). When it came to sharing my photographs, the most important lesson he taught me is Less Is More. Specifically, how to process photos without making them look like they were retouched.
Compare & Contrast these photos:
These two photos are from the same 3 raw images.
The photo on the left, Serge and I edited together using Aurora 2018. We brought enhanced the details on the rocks framing the shot, closest to the eyes if you were actually there. Then brought up the light in the back where the sun was setting.
I did the one on the right in Aurora on my own, prior to the class. You can tell it is a processed photo, but at that time I felt this was the best way to bring out the environment.
The version Serge and I edited took us less than 5 minutes of processing to get to these results. On my own about 45 minutes to get the results I got, I was just never happy with the results. The subject matter and framing make both images visually stunning; yet, clearly, the version we did together is much better. Less post-processing created a more stunning image!
The knowledge I gained here and Serge obviously has, is that the trick is to make the image look AMAZING without being overdone. It is easy to get carried away by what can be done. The key is knowing where to draw the line on post-processing because “Less is More” in most cases.
What are your thoughts on this? I’d love to hear more in the comments.