September 26

2 comments

New Video Tutorial: The Power of Abbreviation in Photography

By Dan

September 26, 2019

I just posted a brand new video tutorial on my YouTube Channel. It’s called The Power of Abbreviation in Photography. 

As photographers, we’re not bound to the same creative limitations that most other visual artists face. Where most artists are forced to work within the restraints of their medium, our modern cameras can show everything in perfect detail, and this is not always a good thing.

Simply reproducing the world that exists in front of our lenses rarely results in compelling imagery. Showing every single element of real life, exactly as it happened doesn’t necessarily make for good art.

What makes for engaging imagery is showing only part of your scene and inviting the viewer to dive in and imagine the rest of the scene. This allow them to engage their brains and piece together the overall message of your story by filling in the blanks of what’s NOT there.

In addition, by abbreviating your subjects, your communicate a more concise message that emphasizes the very ideas and emotions that drew you to the scene in the first place. The goal with good photography is not merely to show the subject, it’s to translate your own feelings about the scene to your viewer and evoke similar feelings in them when they look at your photo.

You can do this much more easily with a simple composition that shows very little, more so than if you show too much. Remember the term “Less is More?” That’s why.

Watch The Power of Abbreviation in Photography, and also, check out the other videos on my YouTube Channel. I’m excited to be expanding on that aspect of my teaching and share my insight with you in this new way.

If you’re interested in more in-depth video lessons that go beyond simple tips, check out my Photography On The Brain course. In that exclusive series, I discuss aspects about creativity and photography in a deeper level and give you monthly assignments that challenge you to think about your photography in new ways.

Check out what that’s all about below, or click here for more info.

About the author

Hi, I'm Dan Bailey, a 25+ year pro outdoor and adventure photographer, and official FUJIFILM X-Photographer based in Anchorage, Alaska.


As a top rated blogger and author my goal is to help you become a better, more confident and competent photographer, so that you can have as much fun and creative enjoyment as I do.


  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

    Never miss a post!

     Subscribe and get notified whenever I write something new!

    >

    WOULD YOU LIKE TO SAVE 20% ON MY BRAND NEW eBOOK?

    Sign up for my newsletter and I'll send you an exclusive discount code. 


    Terry Bourk

    I have read you new book “Behind the Landscape.” I could not “put it down” meaning that I kept at it because each photo you presented/analyzed was interesting and informative. I am trying to develop an eye for composition (both the scene and the light).

    Thank you! The examples you present and the suggestions are very helpful. Purple Mountains, McKinley River and Wonder Lake are fascinating.


    Roger Sinclair

    You have done it again! Another triumph.

    Your generosity to share, the clarity of thought and concise explanation thereof is brilliant. Perhaps I should also mention the beautiful photos and the talent necessary to produce them.

    Thank you, Dan.