I’ll be the first to admit that I fall into the common trap of overcomplicating my composition when a simple one would be just as effective, if not more so. It’s an easy thing to do and you shouldn’t beat yourself up over it. We’re so driven to create unique compositions that it can cloud the intent of conveying the beauty in front of you.

On a recent trip to Trillium Lake, I spent most of my time thinking about how to not reinvent the wheel that I burnt off most of my time with great light. Fortunately, I came to my senses just when things were getting really good and opted to simplify. I put on my Zeiss Loxia 50mm prime lens and framed up Mt. Hood and part of its reflection in Trillium Lake. It’s a classic photo and you know what? It’s one of my favorites from the shoot because of how simple and elegant the composition is.

So next time you’re out on a shoot, keep in mind that you don’t have to overcomplicate things to execute on your vision. Identify what about the scene is most important to you and shoot.