On composing

I was thinking recently about different types of photography. I enjoy doing two types of images- nature/landscapes and food. As far as composing goes, it seems to me nature is much easier to master then still life.

When I go outdoors to photograph, basically all the elements are organized and ready for me. Yes, I have to find the distance (or focal length), angle and so on- define best point of view, include or exclude elements from the frame. So there are some challenges. And then there is rule of thirds, diagonals, colors. Some things just work, and some give only the blah image. But I know what to do. I just walk around and try, and probably I am going to get the image, eventually. Often it feels like to me that it is more like recording what is in front of me, taking an image rather then making an image. The nature did most of creative work.

On the other hand, creating still life or food set seems like a task. First, defining the main subject – this one is easy. Let say say it is a bowl of strawberries. What I would typically do, is just put it on white seamless paper and shoot perfect stock image ;). But to create the photograph, now the props should be added. But what props? What color? Plain or textured? How many? Especially if there is not much to choose from in the closet, it can be difficult. And then, arrange elements around the scene, put something randomly here and there. It adds another layer of creative, well, difficulty. And although same rules of composition apply, it just seems to be harder to work backwards. That seems to be the real picture making!