Less is More

This topic can probably be divided into two parts

  • Part 1 – Using more of the surrounding, going wide-angle
  • Part 2 – Using a lot of empty space in the image

For this blog i’ll concentrate on Part 1.

A frame-filling image of a tiger. A closeup of a lovely eagle…these are images that everyone craves for when one starts photography. It is of-course very important to know how to make such images as well but once done, its then time to explore the art….Don’t miss this step.

The issue is, there just seem to be too many of images these days that suffer from the ‘fill the frame’ disease. I have been a culprit myself, and I am sure so have many of you.  Are all frame filling images bad. No, not all. A close-up of a kill, a close-up of some action or just some different behavior caught up-close; These are all strong compositions and work very well. What I don’t like too much though is the mad rush to make razor sharp portraits and side-line everything else about photography. These days, more often than not, I am drawn towards images where there is a lot of room given for the surroundings because thats what actually makes the image speak. It is the fiber that holds an image together.

For all my bird-photographer friends out there, I’m not saying that a good portrait of a Purple Cochoa or a Slender-Billed Scimitar Babbler or a Resplendent Quetzal are not to be made. Of-course they should be made, but as a photographer I would love all of you to start thinking a lot more on the art bit as well, at-least with species that aren’t so tough to get. Think about Bharatpur for e.g. It is probably the best place to try wide-angle compositions of birds in their habitat..It’s a place that gives you multitudes of opportunities to make really memorable images.

In general, with wide angle photography the most common approach these days is to go extremely close to the subject by keeping the camera on a remote trigger and making wide-angles with the subject filling up most of the frame.. I understand that this isn’t the easiest to execute in the field always. However, using a wide angle from the confines of your safari vehicle isn’t too bad either. Give it a go the next time you head out. Try that kit lens when a tiger crosses the road or walks past your vehicle once and you will love the results. Challenge yourself to make different images. You will be gladly surprised with what you can come up with.

Take a look at the the following 2 lovely images made by a couple of friends of mine

How often have you really seen a wide-angle of tiger at the waterhole…the impact that this one leaves is tremendous. Not technically difficult at all but it needs that eye for composition, that need to convey more to the user and this works just fabulously.

This one again is such beautiful execution and again technically not the most challenging one as long as you have learnt exposure well. It is the entire eco-system of the giants of Kaziranga in one simple frame. Lovely isn’t it?


These images talk to you. They talk about the subject, they talk about the kind of life they lead. They build a connect.

Now take a look at the following images of closeups of subjects. 








They are what I call Passport images of animals and is something that should decrease in percentage from your stock as your photography steps up to the next gear. 

So get out there, think big, think wide think different and make images that talk to people. Yes you will fail more often than not but that makes success just so much sweeter. 

Go Shoot guys….. 

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  1. Prakash Subbanna April 17, 2017 at 8:49 am #

    Very nicely articulated & substantiated with beautiful apt. images. Either ways bringing those good images to your desktops is an art that few has mastered and millions appreciated by.

  2. Sujith Sivadas April 17, 2017 at 10:26 am #

    This is really wonderful…indeed valuable points !

  3. Yuvraj Patil April 18, 2017 at 1:39 am #

    Great…..Nicely write up with interesting images….very nicely explain….very useful…..keep it up

  4. PRASHANTA BHATTACHAR May 9, 2017 at 4:08 pm #

    I really agree with you,sir.Now- a days there is really hard competition to get as close to the subject as possible through either crawling or switching to long tele lense.It seems unhealthy sometimes.The term ‘PHOTOGRAPHY’ that means the use of light and shade does not mean that.Your write up is an eye opener for amature photographers like us.We concentrate on the tiny subject forgetting the story that it may tell through my camera. Very useful writing,sir.KUDOS.

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