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Keep it simple for better composition

frozen lake near Denver.
frozen lake near Denver.
©Allen Birnbach

One of the time honored rules of photography is to keep things simple.  Here's a good example of that.

 I went up to a frozen lake north of Denver on a beautiful winter day.  The air was clear and crisp, and there was not a sound to be heard other than the crunching of snow under my boots.  

 So how do I convey that feeling to the viewer?  I chose a wide angle lens to accentuate distance, placed the tops of the trees using the rule of thirds, and waited for a cloud formation to move into a position that I thought would be interesting.  More than that, though, I kept the composition simple essentially using just three elements (snow, trees and sky) to tell the story.