Photo challenge: Simplicity

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

Hello everyone,

I hope you are all doing well and having interesting things happening in your life. Tomorrow Di and I, along with our kids, are heading to Chefchaouen, in the Rif mountains. It’s a very pretty, unusual town that is painted entirely light blue.

There are religious reasons behind the blue-washed buildings, according to Lonely Planet:

“Jewish teachings suggest that by dyeing thread with tekhelel (an ancient natural dye) and weaving it into prayer shawls, people would be reminded of God’s power. The memory of this tradition lives on in the regularly repainted blue buildings.”  

I’m intrigued and I can’t wait to photograph the place.

We’ll be there for a week, obviously taking photos and exploring – but also doing some walking in the hills; and one of our favourite things to do – meet people.

Today I have a cool photo challenge for you. The challenge has been inspired by this photo that I took a couple of days ago in Fes:

I really like it, but Di wasn’t so keen.

Too simple. She said. It doesn’t really say anything to me.

Does it need to say anything? Can’t it just be nice? I replied.

Simplicity is very interesting to me. It makes me happy to find something clear and clean and strong to photograph. And it’s not easy to create something simple and interesting.

So today I would love to challenge you to create a simple – but also interesting – photograph.

Focusing on simplicity is also excellent training for your eye. Learning to extract everything that is unnecessary from your photo is an indelible skill to develop. This challenge will help you with that.

The winner of the challenge will get a set of my books. Delivered to your door! I will ultimately pick the winner, but I will be guided too by the feedback and favourites from the community.

Post your photo on the Simplicity Photo Challenge on our Facebook page. that I have created for this challenge. The challenge is listed under EVENTS.

We will comment on every photo that you post – so it’s also a great way to get some feedback on your photography.

What simplicity means to you might be different to what simple means to me. So I will leave it open to you to interpret the challenge – and I look forward to seeing your ideas!

I love simplicity because it stimulates the imagination.

I like this quote below because it’s a powerful reminder that we don’t always have to include everything in the photo.

“I like to have a thing suggested rather than told in full. When every detail is given the mind rests satisfied and the imagination loses the desire to use its own wings.” Thomas Bailey Aldrich

Here are some ways I’ve used simplicity in my photography. 

Simple subject

“A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace.” Confucius

The simplicity can come from the subject being an everyday object. Something I am very keen on.

Simple shapes

Simple textures

This is a photo of textures to me. A little bit of contrast, a little colour – but mainly texture.

Simplicity of colour

Di loves this photo. She loves the textures and colour – and I love to focus on colour.

Has this given you some ideas? If so, I hope you join in my challenge!

Remember to post your photo on the Simplicity Photo Challenge on our Facebook page. that I have created for this challenge. The challenge is listed under EVENTS.

Deadline: Dec 3rd.

Photo rules:

  • I would prefer you to shoot something fresh, but I don’t mind if you use something you already have. If you don’t have time, going back, reviewing and editing your work is still a highly worthy and useful pursuit.
  • Post a max of 3 photos each.

Any questions – just comment below.

Have a great day and happy photographing,

Anthony and Diana