The Da Vinci Rule of Composition

In Landscape/Nature by Jim Harmer

Photography compositionLeonardo Da Vinci wasn't even alive during the age of photography, but he did have something to say about composition: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

If you feel that you are often unable to shoot an ordinary scene and give the photo a professional look, then the problem is most likely that your compositions are too busy.

Note the simplicity of the composition below.  For most photographers, the natural tendency for shooting a scene like this would be getting down low and showing the texture in the dirt, the sweat on the farm worker's brow, the detail in the plants, etc.  This photography took a simpler approach and simply showed a farmer working in a field.   The center of interest, the farmer, is placed off to the side, which further simplifies the composition.

Next time you're out shooting and your camera's LCD isn't showing you what you want to see, remember this rule: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.  Remove every unnecessary detail from the scene, and re-shoot.

To learn more about composition in landscape photography, consider purchasing my book “Improve Your Landscape Photography” for just $5.99.  You can buy a PDF to read on your computer.  Check it out!

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About the Author

Jim Harmer

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Jim Harmer is the founder of Improve Photography, and host of the popular Improve Photography Podcast. More than a million photographers follow him on social media, and he has been listed at #35 in rankings of the most popular photographers in the world. He blogs about how to start an internet business on