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The Art of Black and White Photography, 2nd Edition by Torsten Andreas Hoffmann

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20 Less Is More—Reduction and Emphasis

Cluttered photos confuse the viewer, whereas a successful reduction of pictorial elements provides an overview and generally results in powerful photos. What you need to do is to take your time and look critically through the viewfinder. Fewer forms often have a more powerful effect if they are located just to the right in the photo.

When the painter Kasimir Malevich, one of the most important representatives of Russian Constructivism, painted the first monochromatic black painting in the early twentieth century, he caused an uproar, and nobody appreciated his work. Yet, Malevich’s conscious reduction of form and color became the basis of style for twentieth-century painting: the consistently reduced language ...

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